If a police officer arrests you, it can be a humiliating and stressful experience. You might feel like you have done nothing wrong. However, if you fight getting arrested, this is a sure way for an encounter with law enforcement to get worse in a hurry. When a person refuses to be arrested, the police officer has been trained to use “appropriate force” on the person being arrested. Many police techniques of physical force are intend to cause enough pain and discomfort so that you stop trying to resist. If the use of force is too much, then this is a separate issue outside the scope of this article. In other words, if you resist being arrested, then you would end up facing not only one criminal offense but two, one of them being Refusing to Submit to Arrest or Detention.
If you or someone you know is facing resisting arrest charges in Maine, we encourage you to contact The Nielsen Group for a free legal consultation. The Nielsen group has on staff experienced resisting arrest attorneys. Our office is open, and we want to hear from you.
In this article, we want to outline the following:
- What is an example of Resisting Arrest?
- What is the Statute for Resisting Arrest in Maine?
- How Can a Maine Criminal Defense Attorney Help?
- What is the Court Process for Resisting Arrest in Maine?
- What are the possible Outcomes for Resisting Arrest in Maine?
What is an example of Resisting Arrest?
Here is a story of what a charge for resisting arrest could look like for a fictional client:
In response to recent events, Otis went to Portland to participate in the protests and to have his voice heard. During the protest, law enforcement came in and told the crowd to disperse and began arresting people after several warnings were given. The officer explained to Otis to come with him because he was getting arrested, Otis did not want to go. He did not want to get arrested. When the officer grabbed Otis’s arm, he pulled away saying “No!” Otis stepped back and swung his body around to block the officer. Otis eventually needed several officers to restrain him so he could be placed in hand cuffs.
What is the Statute for Resisting Arrest in Maine?
According to Maine Statute 17-A M.R.S.A. Section 751-B, Refusing to Submit to Arrest or Detention is defined as follows: “with intent to hinder, delay or prevent a law enforcement officer from effective the arrest or detention that person…”
- Refuses to stop on request or signal from a law enforcement officer. Violation is a Class E misdemeanor.
- Uses physical force against the law enforcement officer. Violation is a Class D misdemeanor.
- Creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to the law enforcement officer. Violation is a Class D misdemeanor.
In this scenario here, Otis would likely be charged under the clause with creating a substantial risk of bodily injury to the law enforcement officer from physically refusing to comply with what the officer asked him to do, which is a Class D misdemeanor.
If convicted of a Class D misdemeanor for Refusal to Submit to Arrest or Detention, the maximum penalties would be up to $2,000.00 in fines and up to 364 days jail time.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help?
Later being bailed out by his parents, Otis realized how much trouble he was in. But how can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help?
A criminal defense attorney knows how to advocate for you at Court. After Otis explained his situation, a criminal defense attorney will know what is at stake, and how to communicate that at Court.
A charge for Refusal to Submit to Arrest or Detention takes into account the defendant’s state of mind at the time of the incident. In Otis’s case, the District Attorney’s Office is likely to argue that Otis had the intent to not go with the officer that night, and that was a form of resisting arrest.
Under Maine Statue, there are certain specially recognized “defenses” to a charge of Refusal to Submit to Arrest or Detention. These special conditions include:
- If the person being arrested had a reasonable belief that the person trying to make the arrest was not a law enforcement officer. For example, if the officer was not in a uniform or the vehicle did not have any markings identifying it as a police vehicle, then the average person might believe that it was not a law enforcement officer.
- If the law enforcement officer acted unlawfully in attempting to effect the arrest or detention. This is the type of argument that you want an experienced criminal defense attorney to make.
What is the Court Process for Resisting Arrest?
Here, the Court Process is for a misdemeanor charge. In this case, let’s assume that for a fresh start Otis moved to Colorado to get a fresh start. Because he a distance away, his ability to travel back to Maine for Court is limited.
Arraignment– for the first Court date, which is Arraignment, the criminal defense attorney can take care of this for him. When you have a criminal defense attorney in your corner, the attorney can handle your Arraignment for you by entering a Not Guilty plea on your behalf.
Dispositional Conference– When a client is unable to come to Court for special reasons, the attorney can ask the Court to allow the Defendant to appear by phone instead. This would save Otis the trouble and expense of traveling to and from Maine to resolve his criminal case. While the attorney can file a request, it is up to the Judge whether to allow it. If the Judge says no, then the Defendant has to come to Court in person.
Plea Hearing– Typically, when a Defendant is entering into a plea agreement officially, it is done in person. Under certain special cases, the Court can allow an agreement to be entered and filed with some detailed specialized legal documents, which would have to be notarized and signed by the Defendant ahead of time.
Motion Hearings and Jury Trial– Under any circumstances, if the Defendant’s case progresses to a “testimonial hearing,” such as a pretrial motion hearing or Jury Trial, then the Defendant would be required to be there at Court in person.
What are the Possible Outcomes of a Charge for Resisting Arrest in Maine?
Here are some possible outcomes for a charge of Refusal to Submit to Arrest or Detention in Maine:
- Dismissal- a dismissal is the best possible outcome in a criminal case. The State would drop the charges in their entirety.
- Deferred Disposition- a plea arrangement attempts to reach a resolution where the State gets a guilty plea, but the sentence might not happen right away.
- Jury Verdict- if the case proceeds all the way through a jury trial, then the outcome of guilt or innocence is determined by the Jury. While the Jury determines guilt or innocence, the Judge would determine sentencing.
For More Information:
If you found this article informative, you might also like the following:
- Failure to Disperse
- Disorderly Conduct
- Assault on an Officer