Resisting Arrest Lawyer Greensboro, NC

At Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, Attorneys at Law, our criminal lawyers spend a lot of time in District Court dealing with resisting arrest charges. We figured it a good idea to look at these situations to give you a better idea of how they operate in Greensboro, NC.

Resisting Arrest in North Carolina is known as Resisting, Delaying, or Obstructing a Public Officer. This is found in North Carolina General Statute 14-223.

resisting arrest lawyer

What level crime is a Resisting Arrest in North Carolina?

Resisting Arrest is a Class 2 Misdemeanor. If convicted the person faces a maximum of 60 days in Jail. The North Carolina Sentencing Chart below provides a first hand look at what a sentence for resisting arrest looks like.

resisting arrest lawyers

Can I get jail time for Resisting Arrest?

The quick answer is yes, jail time is possible, however, the possibility of jail time will depend on the number of prior convictions in your background. Your criminal record in District Court in Guilford County, NC, is decided by looking at the number of prior convictions you have on your record. Our resisting arrest attorneys in Greensboro, NC, are typically able to keep our clients from being jailed as a result of a resisting arrest charges. The maximum sentence for a misdemeanor resisting arrest charge is 60 days. But in order to have the worst record level possible this would require five prior conviction dates. A first offender can get up to 30 days in jail, but this would only happen after the person convicted of resisting an officer violated the terms of their probation. If you’re a level 2 for misdemeanor sentencing purposes you can get up to 45 days in jail. And then if you’re a level 3 for misdemeanor sentencing purposes, meaning you have at least 5 prior convictions, you can get the maximum which is 60 days in jail for resisting arrest.

Charged with Resisting Arrest in North Carolina

What are the elements of Resisting Arrest in North Carolina?

  • Willfully and Unlawfully
  • Resists, Delays OR Obstructs
  • A Public Officer
  • Knowing or Having Reasonable Grounds to Believe that the Victim is a Public Officer AND
  • While the officer is Discharging or Attempting to Discharge a Duty of his or her office.
resisting arrest attorney

What does willful and unlawful mean for resisting arrest?

If what a person is doing is legally allowed, it’s not unlawful. An example of this would be that a officer simply walks up to someone and starts speaking with them. This would be termed a consensual encounter. They’re talking and the person decides to walk away from the officer. Given that the person hadn’t done anything wrong, they’re free to leave and this would no be resisting

However, it’s important to note that if you’re stopped lawfully, and then you run and the officer requests you stop and you keep on going this would be resisting arrest.

Why did they charge me with resisting arrest, I didn’t resist?

Our Greensboro criminal lawyers deal with this exact question on a frequent basis. I didn’t resist them at all. Which is typically true, but the dilemma for North Carolina is this charge doesn’t just cover resisting arrest, it also covers delaying an officer in performing their duties, and also obstructing an officer from performing their duties.

For instance, if someone interferes with an officer executing a search warrant, conducting an investigatory stop or when they’re in the midst of investigating a crime, delaying the officer doing any of those things can result in resisting, delay and obstructing an officer from performing their duty.

A resist also has no requirement of an assault or a violent act to be charged.

Resisting Arrest Attorney Guilford County, NC

Resisting Arrest Examples

Here are quite a few examples where the North Carolina court system has found their to be enough to convict someone of resist, delay or obstruct a law enforcement officer:

  1. Giving a false name to an officer – delay
  2. Cursing an officer when receiving a parking ticket, so they had to be restrained – delay
  3. Inserting yourself into an investigation of someone else’s case – delay
  4. Inciting a crowd to interfere with an investigation or arrest – delay

Here are a few examples of when our courts did not find there was enough there for a resist:

  1. Client refused to provide their social security number to the police during his arrest
  2. Client argued with an officer and protested the officer taking his alcohol when the officer was arresting another person.
  3. Refusing to give your name to the police is not a resist – North Carolina does not have a statute that says you must do so.

Can only a police officer take out a resisting arrest charge?

The statute allows for resisting arrest to be taken out by all PUBLIC officers. Meaning campus police and could very well include any public employee who is required to look after and regulate the conduct of other people. This could be a firefighter, building inspector, etc.

It was an undercover officer, I didn’t know he was a police officer, can I still be charged with resist?

This is a great question, per the resisting arrest statute, the person must either know or have reasonable grounds to know that the person they’re resisting is a public officer. For example, if there’s body worn camera showing that the officer never identifies himself prior to trying to arrest you and never shows a badge, the person could very well have a reasonable ground to believe the person is not a public officer.

If an officer mistakes my identity for someone else and I run, is that a resist?

Even if they mistake you for someone else that has a warrant and then attempt to arrest you, if you run it’s a resist.


    317 S. GREENE ST, GREENSBORO, NC 27401

    Concealed gun charges are nothing to play around with and our top rated Greensboro criminal lawyers are here to help you. Whether you resisted or you didn’t and the police charged you anyways, contact Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson, Attorneys at Law today!

    This is why you should contact our  – Guilford County & Randolph County – Greensboro, High Point & Asheboro Lawyers to help with your Resisting Arrest charge today.

    Call us at (336) 379-0539  to schedule a free, in-depth consultation with our experienced lawyers.

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