Is Resisting Arrest a Felony in Seattle?

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Jan 09


Is Resisting Arrest a Felony in Seattle?

by Anonymous

What happens if you resist arrest? How much force should police officers use against someone who resists arrest? Can you get arrested for resisting arrest?

In most states, laws define resisting arrest as intentionally preventing or attempting to prevent a peace officer from lawfully apprehending or detaining an individual. This includes running away from officers, fighting with them, or refusing to comply with their orders. Washington law RCW §9A.76.040 addresses the crime of resisting arrest. 

If you resist arrest, you could face criminal charges. You might also face civil liability, such as damages for injuries sustained during the struggle. In addition, resisting arrest can affect your job prospects. For example, employers often check whether candidates have an arrest record before they hire them.

What Is Resisting Arrest?

In Seattle, a person is guilty of resisting arrest if they try to prevent a peace officer from making an arrest. This could include many actions, including:

  • Refusing to be handcuffed

  • Refusing to surrender

  • Struggling with the police

  • Wrestling or fighting with the police

  • Running from the police

The Use of Physical Force

A police officer may use physical force to arrest someone only if they reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury or death. In addition, officers can only use deadly force when there are no alternatives to arresting someone. If an officer uses deadly force against a suspect, the officer must give a verbal warning to the suspect before shooting them.

What Are the Penalties for Resisting Arrest?

Fortunately, resisting arrest is a misdemeanor charge in Washington. However, that does not mean that the consequences aren’t severe. Even misdemeanor convictions can derail your entire life. If convicted, you face up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $1000. 

How Can a Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?

When you get arrested, you might face many charges, including resisting arrest. You will need a skilled Seattle criminal defense lawyer on your side to negotiate with prosecutors and build your case. Without a lawyer fighting for your rights, you face an uphill battle.

Do you believe that the charge of resisting arrest was made because the officer needed to justify his use of force against you? Is it just your word against the word of the police officer? In these cases, it is essential to call a lawyer quickly. Your attorney must build your case to undermine the officer's credibility and prove your innocence.  

Contact Our Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you face resisting arrest charges, or any criminal charges, in Seattle, you need a team of lawyers in your corner.  At Lewis & Laws, PLLC, we can fight for you and your future at every turn. We know the best ways to fight resisting arrest charges and can often have these charges reduced or dismissed, especially for first-time offenders. 

No matter how bleak your situation feels, you deserve to have a team of aggressive lawyers on your side. 

At Lewis & Laws, PLLC, we have defended clients in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Kirkland, and throughout Washington. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our confidential contact form. Call us today!

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