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Arizona Resisting Arrest in Arizona Lawyers

Resisting Arrest in Arizona: What You Need to Know

Getting arrested can be scary. Your heart races, your palms sweat, and your mind goes a hundred miles an hour. You may feel an urge to pull away or even run. But resisting arrest often ends badly, even if you’re innocent. Take a deep breath, stay calm, and know your rights. This article covers resisting arrest laws in Arizona and how to handle arrests properly.

What is Resisting Arrest in Arizona?

Resisting arrest means intentionally preventing or trying to prevent a law enforcement officer from making a lawful arrest. Arizona law prohibits resisting arrest, even if you believe the arrest is unlawful.

Under Arizona Revised Statutes §13-2508, you commit the crime of resisting arrest by:

  • Using or threatening physical force against the officer
  • Creating a substantial risk of physical injury to the officer
  • Engaging in passive resistance that delays or prevents the arrest

Passive resistance includes going limp, holding on to fixed objects, or refusing to cooperate with being handcuffed or moved. Even peaceful, nonviolent resistance is illegal.

Resisting Arrest Charges and Penalties

Resisting arrest is a class 6 felony in Arizona. If convicted, penalties can include:

  • 4 months to 2 years in prison
  • Fines up to $150,000
  • Probation from 1 to 3 years
  • Mandatory surcharges of at least $1000

If you use a deadly weapon or cause physical injury while resisting, it becomes a class 5 felony. That ups the ante to 1 to 3.75 years in prison and fines up to $150,000.These are serious consequences. But there are legal defenses that could get the charges reduced or dismissed.

Common Defenses Against Resisting Arrest Charges

Here are some common arguments a criminal defense lawyer may make:

You didn’t know it was a police officer

If you didn’t know it was a cop trying to arrest you, you may not have criminal intent. For example, if an officer in plain clothes tries to make an arrest without identifying themselves.

The arrest was unlawful

You can’t resist even an unlawful arrest in Arizona. But if the charges stem from an improper arrest, your lawyer can challenge the legality to get evidence thrown out or charges dismissed.

No actual resistance occurred

If you didn’t actually resist, but the officer says you did, your attorney can argue there’s no evidence to support the charges.

Self defense

If the officer used excessive force and you acted only to protect yourself, self-defense may justify your actions.

Mental illness

If a mental health condition kept you from understanding your actions or controlling your behavior, you may have an affirmative defense.

A skilled lawyer thoroughly investigates the arrest details to craft the best defense strategy for your specific case.

How to Handle Getting Arrested in Arizona

Getting arrested, even wrongly, is no fun. But overreacting often makes it worse. Here are tips on handling arrests properly:

Stay calm

As hard as it is, take deep breaths and keep your cool. Anything you say or do can be used against you.

Don’t resist

Don’t pull away, run, or physically fight officers. You could face additional charges for resisting or assaulting an officer.

Don’t argue

Arguing or complaining will not help your case. Be respectful and save it for court.

Ask if you’re under arrest

If they say yes, you must comply with their orders. If not, you may be free to leave.

Invoke your right to remain silent

Say out loud “I invoke my right to remain silent.” Then say nothing more until you speak to a lawyer.

Ask for a lawyer

Clearly state “I want to speak to a lawyer.” Then stop answering questions. Interrogation must cease until your attorney is present.

Don’t consent to searches

If they ask to search you or your belongings, politely decline. They need a warrant or probable cause.

Ask for badge numbers

Get the badge number and name of every officer involved. This helps later with investigations or complaints.

Get medical attention if needed

If you’re injured during arrest, request immediate medical care. Take photos of any injuries as evidence.

Memorize details

Mentally record everything that was said and done. These details help your lawyer defend the charges.

Staying calm and invoking your rights reduces the chances of further issues. Most importantly, say nothing to police without your lawyer present. Anything you say can come back to haunt you.

Finding a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Arizona

If you’re charged with resisting arrest, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney is critical. A lawyer can evaluate any police misconduct and build the strongest case for dismissal or acquittal.

When choosing a lawyer, look for these key qualifications:

  • Extensive knowledge of Arizona criminal laws and procedures
  • Successful track record getting charges reduced or dismissed
  • Good relationships with local prosecutors and judges
  • Resources to thoroughly investigate your arrest
  • Clear communication skills and responsiveness

Don’t just Google “criminal defense lawyer” and pick the first result. Ask friends for recommendations. Search lawyer directories like Avvo or Martindale. Schedule consultations to meet lawyers and find the best fit.

Resisting arrest charges are frightening. But an experienced Arizona defense lawyer can guide you through the chaos, answer all questions, and build the strongest case possible. Don’t go it alone against the power of the state. Protect your rights and future by hiring professional legal help.

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