Tag Archives: resisting arrest in raleigh

Charged With Resisting Arrest During Protests In Raleigh?

Free speech is still an American right. Expressions of free speech are protected by the First Amendment, and gatherings of these types have increased in numbers since the death of George Floyd in May. While many demonstrators were peacefully protesting, others were not, leading to violence and destruction in Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Charlotte, and other cities around the Tar Heel State.

Police nationwide have arrested both peaceful protesters right alongside looters and violent mobs to prevent more vandalism and harm to residents. What do you do if you were in one of these protests and found yourself arrested?

The Right To Protest

Help When Charged With Resisting Arrest During Protests In RaleighProtesting comes under the First Amendment and “free speech.” This means that you have the right to express an opinion in public, anytime, anywhere, with some limitations. (Not all speech is “protected” by the First Amendment, such as inciting riots or “fighting words.”) Protests and demonstrations on private property, such as a place of business or employment, are not as protected.

However, protests that evolve into more than civil disobedience and involve illegal activity such as rioting, burning, looting, and other conduct that can cause injury or property damage can lead to arrest and other police intervention.

Large-scale demonstrations generally require permits to accommodate the additional police presence for the protection of attendees.

Resisting Arrest

North Carolina General Statutes, Article 30, Section § 14-223 states that:

“If any person shall willfully and unlawfully resist, delay or obstruct a public officer in discharging or attempting to discharge a duty of his office, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.”

In addition to resisting arrest when you’re told, it also means interfering with any police officer who is doing his or her job. This includes the act of interfering when an officer is arresting someone else. Additional causes include using abusive language towards law enforcement, giving false information such as name and address, refusing to accept a citation, and preventing an officer from doing his or her job, such as interfering with another arrest.

Not complying with a police request can also be considered “resisting arrest,” based on the officer’s judgment. Therefore, it’s important at such a public event to allow the police to do their job, and comply with their requests.

If you’re charged with a different offense, such as disorderly conduct, actively resisting arrest can bring a second charge, even if the first one for disorderly conduct is eventually dropped. If you’re innocent of the original charge, resisting arrest is a separate charge for which you will be tried.

Should you be part of an arrest during a protest that turns dangerous or violent, you have the right to the criminal defense attorney of your choice. A defense attorney can help you through the court process and work to have the charges reduced or even dropped.

Need Help With Resisting Arrest Charges? Contact Raleigh’s Criminal Defense Attorney

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC. Before working as a defense attorney, he was a Wake County Assistant District Attorney. He understands the criminal justice system and has experience with resisting arrest as both misdemeanor and felony charges.

Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your criminal defense case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com, or use our online contact form.

What Constitutes Resisting Arrest In Raleigh, NC?

You’ve committed no crime, but you’re being arrested. Or you’re with someone who is being arrested, and you’re taken to jail along with them despite your innocence. You inform the officer that you’re innocent, but you’re taken to jail anyway. What now?

Whatever you do, don’t resist any arrest, even an unlawful arrest, or you’ll be charged with it.

What It Is

North Carolina considers nearly anything that causes a problem for an on-duty police officer to be part of North Carolina General Statutes, Article 30, Section § 14-223 that states:

What Constitutes Resisting Arrest In Raleigh, NC?“If any person shall willfully and unlawfully resist, delay or obstruct a public officer in discharging or attempting to discharge a duty of his office, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.”

This means not only resisting your own arrest, but interfering with a police officer doing another arrest or otherwise doing his job.

The statute is intentionally broad as well as vague, covering a wide range of activity that interferes with a police officer doing his job. That also increases your chance of an arrest due to resisting, delaying or obstructing a police officer (RDO) by giving the officer flexibility in what he or she can arrest an individual for.

Types Of Resisting Arrest

Most people think of resisting arrest as the individual who, upon discovering he or she is targeted, runs from the police. Officers also have a certain leeway with using force, and will do so if they believe they are being threatened.

But other actions, like raising your arms in a defensive stance or instinctively moving out of the way can also be interpreted by the police officer as “physical resistance,” even if you meant no harm and were not fleeing.

Resistance can also take a non physical form. Actions such as:

  • Refusing to accept a ticket
  • Giving false information, such as name and address
  • Using abusive language
  • Otherwise slowing down an officer to prevent him from doing his job

Can also see you charged with “resisting arrest.”

Conviction For Resisting Arrest

If you are convicted of RDO, you’ll be facing:

  • Up to three months in jail
  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • A probation sentencing to include counseling and regular meetings
  • A community service requirement

Additionally, you’ll have a record of conviction that will stay on your record, and inhibit your ability to apply for jobs, professional licenses, college and student aid, and other things.

But What If I’m Innocent?

Even if you are innocent and can prove you’re a victim of wrongful arrest in court, it’s best not to resist because you’ll have an additional charge. This means that you may be acquitted of the first charge, but still convicted of the second. Avoid that second charge by not resisting arrest or interfering with a police officer.

Possible defenses against RDO include:

  • Self-defense against an officer who was using unreasonable force against you
  • An unlawful arrest, without probable cause or a warrant
  • Argue and prove that the charges are false
  • NC has no “stop and identify rule.” Unless you are operating a motor vehicle, you are not required to give the police any information, and can politely refuse the officer’s request

If you are charged with resisting arrest, an experienced criminal defense attorney can defend you in court to reduce or dismiss your charges.

Charged With Resisting Arrest? Contact Raleigh’s Criminal Defense Attorney

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC. Before working as a defense attorney, he was a Wake County Assistant District Attorney. He understands the criminal justice system, and can handle resisting arrest as well as other criminal charges.

Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your criminal defense case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us at dewey@deweypbrinkleylaw.com, or use our online contact form