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I’ve been charged with resisting an arrest. What are my defense options?

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2022 | Criminal Law

No matter the circumstances, resisting an arrest is never a great idea. Besides risking bodily harm, resisting an arrest can complicate your case and lead to additional charges. In fact, resisting arrest in Hawaii amounts to a misdemeanor. If convicted, you can serve jail time.

Granted the consequences if you are convicted, it is important that you figure out your defense options if you are charged with resisting an arrest in Hawaii.

Defense options if you are charged with resisting an arrest

The key to defending yourself against resisting an arrest charge is keeping in mind that your charges are based on the fact that your actions obstructed a law enforcement officer from executing their duties. That said, here are defense options you can consider when charged with resisting an arrest:

You were acting in self-defense – Law enforcement officers are permitted to use reasonable force when executing an arrest. Anything beyond this is unjustified. For instance, if the arresting officer attempts to shoot you when you are unarmed, you may fight back.

If the arrest is unlawful –Basically, the police can execute an arrest under two circumstances. Firstly, when there is a warrant against you. And, secondly, if they have probable cause that you are committing a crime. If the police attempt to arrest you with neither a warrant nor probable cause, then the arrest may be deemed unlawful. As such, you may use reasonable force to resist the arrest.

When the officer fails to identify themselves – law enforcement officers are required to identify themselves while making an arrest. If they do not, you may resist an arrest in the interest of your safety.

If you are charged with a crime, you need to know your rights. Knowing your legal options can help you safeguard your rights and interests when facing a criminal charge in Hawaii.