Resisting Arrest Laws in ColoradoAs a citizen in the state of Colorado and the country of the United States, you have certain constitutional rights afforded to you that.

However, if you are being arrested by a police officer within our state, you do not have the right to resist the arrest; on the contrary, you must comply, and if you fail to do so, you can face additional charges as such.

At the law offices of Miller Leonard, PC, our Colorado criminal defense lawyer is available to represent you if you’ve been charged with resisting arrest. Colorado penalties for the crime can be tough – please call our law firm today for your consultation about your legal rights and options.

What Is Resisting Arrest in Colorado?

The crime of resisting arrest is defined in Colorado Revised Statutes section 18-8-103, which reads that a person commits the act of resisting arrest if they knowingly prevent or attempt to prevent a police officer from affecting the arrest by:

  • Using or threatening to use force or violence against the police officer; or
  • Using any other means “which creates a substantial risk of causing bodily injury to the peace officer or another.”

The statute continues to read that resisting arrest is a class 2 misdemeanor in the state of Colorado.

Resisting Arrest – Misdemeanor Offense Penalties in Colorado

If you are charged with resisting arrest in Colorado, you will face the penalties associated with a Class 2 misdemeanor. The punishment for resisting arrest (class 2 misdemeanor) includes a minimum of three months in jail, a $250 fine, or both and up to 12 months in jail, $1,000 fine, or both.

If you do not have a prior history, it is possible that jail time will be waived in place of probation, which is obviously preferable. It is strongly recommended that you secure legal counsel immediately if you are facing the charge of resisting arrest.

Are There Any Defenses to Resisting Arrest?

As a person who is charged with a crime in Colorado, you have the right to defend yourself against those charges. However, defending yourself against the charge of resisting arrest can be complicated, especially because Colorado statute reads that “it is no defense…” to claim that the police officer was “…attempting to make an arrest which was in fact unlawful…” if the police officer was acting “under color of his official authority.” This means that the officer was acting in the course of their regular duties and made a judgment in good faith based on the facts and circumstances surrounding arrest.

However, one defense that can be made against the crime of resisting arrest is that the arresting officer resorted to excessive and unreasonable force in attempting to arrest you, which in turn gave rise to the right of self defense. You may also defend yourself against resisting arrest, if applicable, by asserting that the officer who arrested you was not in uniform or did not identify themselves as a police officer at the time that the arrest was being made.

You cannot simply claim that you were being unlawfully arrested, or that you did not commit the crime for which you were being arrested, as a defense to resisting arrest. Even if you did not commit the crime for which you were being arrested, it is unlawful to resist such an arrest. Discussing the details of your case with a lawyer who can explore all possible defense options is strongly recommended. If no reasonable defense is available, your attorney can assist by negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution.

Our Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You

Being charged with a class 2 misdemeanor crime such as resisting arrest can have serious consequences, including a large fine, a period of incarceration, and a mark on your criminal record. To defend yourself against charges and secure the best outcome possible for your case, you need a skilled Colorado criminal defense attorney on your side. Call the law office of Miller Leonard, PC today for a consultation with a lawyer who cares about you.


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