Just Putting Your Hand on a Police Officer Could Result in Resisting Arrest Charges
But You May Have the Right to Resist. Schmierlaw Can Help


Resisting Arrest is a Natural Reaction that Could Wind up Costing You Years in Prison

When individuals find themselves being arrested, the natural reaction is to question the arrest, pull away and/or to physically retreat or resist. The reality is that these actions can be charged as an independent criminal offense - Resisting Arrest. If you have been the subject of an arrest or have received a criminal complaint, ticket or summons for Resisting Arrest, Schmierlaw, can help.

Under Michigan Law, it is a crime to assault, batter, wound, obstruct, or endanger any duly authorized person serving or attempting to serve or execute any process, rule, or order made or issued by lawful authority or otherwise acting in the performance of his or her duties.In other words, it is against the law to resist a police officer who is lawfully doing his job. On the other hand, you cam lawfully resist an arrest if the arrest was illegal or the police violated your Constitutional rights.

If you are charged with resisting arrest, depending on the circumstances you could face up to two years in prison in addition to the charges that were originally made against you.And if someone is injured or dies, the penalties are even more severe.

Penalties for Resisting Arrest

  • Resisting Arrest –An individual who assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes, or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his or her duties is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both
  • Resisting Arrest Causing Injury –n individual who assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes, or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his or her duties causing a bodily injury requiring medical attention or medical care to that person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.
  • Resisting Causing Impairment-An individual who assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes, or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his or her duties causing a serious impairment of a body function of that person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00, or both.
  • Resisting Causing Death An individual who assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes, or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his or her duties causing the death of that person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or a fine of not more than $20,000.00, or both.

Michigan Courts Have Ruled That You May Resist an Unlawful Arrest

Schmierlaw can help if you are charged or arrested with resisting arrest. We will look at all the facts, determine if the "duly authorized person' was acting lawfully, and fully examine if under Michigan Law you were entitled to resist and acted lawfully. The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that under common law, if someone tries to restrict your freedom you may lawfully resist. That includes resisting a police office who is not lawfully entitled to arrest you. If he does, you can fight back with proportional force to resist. While Statutory Law, or laws passed by the legislature usually trump common law, but in this case, the Michigan Legislature has been silent on this issue, so the Courts have turned to common law. Meaning, if you have the legal right to resist, Schmierlaw can help you get the charge dismissed.


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Law Office of James G. Schmier, PLLC
2222 Attard Street, Birmingham, Michigan 48009
Tel: (248) 705-3742     FAX: (248) 540-0044    Email: jschmier@schmierlaw.com