The words “resisting arrest” have become a topic of conversation over the past few years after police officers killed suspects who they claim were resisting at the time the officer took forceful action. We’re not going to debate the merits of deadly force in our blog, but we do want to touch on the idea of resisting arrest so you don’t end up escalating a situation with police because of your actions. In today’s blog, we explain what constitutes resisting arrest in Minnesota.
Every state has a slightly different definition as to what constitutes resisting arrest. In Minnesota, Section 609.50 states that someone is resisting arrest when they intentionally do any of the following actions:
- Obstructs, hinders, or prevents the lawful execution of any legal process, civil or criminal, or apprehension of another on a charge or conviction of a criminal offense;
- Obstructs, resists, or interferes with a peace officer while the officer is engaged in the performance of official duties;
- Interferes with or obstructs a firefighter while the firefighter is engaged in the performance of official duties;
- Interferes with or obstructs a member of an ambulance service personnel crew, who is providing, or attempting to provide, emergency care; or
- By force or threat of force endeavors to obstruct any employee of the Department of Revenue while the employee is lawfully engaged in the performance of official duties for the purpose of deterring or interfering with the performance of those duties.
In most instances, resisting arrest involves an infraction of the first bullet point. If you interfere with the lawful execution of the legal process, you can be arrested. If you run, fight, attempt to evade or take any other action that suggests you are trying to disrupt the legal process, you can be arrested for resisting arrest.
Now, that doesn’t mean police can just willfully or illegally detain you and then arrest you when you resist. If you’re ever wondering if you can legally leave, just ask the officer if you are being detained and if you are free to leave. If they say you are free to leave but would like you to stay and answer some questions, it’s completely up to you how you want to proceed. But if they say you’re being detailed as part of an investigation for the time being, it would be unwise to run away, because it can make the whole situation more difficult.
If you aren’t sure if you are being detained, we also advise that you consider reaching out to a criminal defense lawyer. We can answer questions while the police are there so you know your rights and aren’t being taken advantage of. We’ll help you out of whatever legal situation you’re facing, but please don’t make a situation worse by resisting and getting additional charges.
For more information, or for help with your resisting arrest case, reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today.