Resisting arrest in Washington State is generally considered to be an act that involves intentionally preventing a law enforcement officer from instigating an arrest, a search, or transport of a person by using force against a law enforcement officer. The actual “resistance” required to qualify for resisting arrest is an intentional act that prevents an officer’s arrest of a person or an officer’s search of a person or his things. For example, if a person forcibly interferes with the processing of an arrest, he will be charged with resisting arrest. Moreover, the person will generally be charged with not only resisting arrest but also with the crime which was the initial focus of, and purpose behind, the arrest.
An arrest occurs when a person reasonably believes that he is not free to leave. The fact that an arrest may be unlawful does not warrant a defense to resisting arrest. In other words, self-defense is not a legitimate defense to a charge of resisting arrest. A person may, however, legitimately claim as a defense that excessive force was used by law enforcement during his arrest, and thus his actions were lawful.
Generally, resisting arrest will be charged as a misdemeanor offense in Washington State. However, if a deadly weapon is involved the offense may be charged as a felony. Regardless of the level of the crime (misdemeanor or felony) it would be wise for any person charged or otherwise cited for resisting arrest to immediately contact a qualified Seattle criminal defense attorney. A Seattle criminal lawyer will work to not only best minimize the myriad of legal consequences a person faces for resisting arrest, but will also work to protect the person’s rights and liberty interests. The Seattle criminal attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified Seattle criminal defense lawyers dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those charged with committing a crime in Western Washington.
If you or a loved one is cited for committing a crime such as resisting arrest in King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, Thurston County or one of the following cities or towns: Algona, Bellevue, Black Diamond, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Burien, Des Moines, Duvall, Edmonds, Enumclaw, Everett, Federal Way, fife, Hunts Point, Issaquah, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lake Stevens, Lakewood, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Marysville, Medina, Mercer Island, Milton, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, New Castle, Normandy Park, North Bend, Olympia, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Sea Tac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snohomish, Sumner, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, and/or Woodinville, or any other city or town in Western Washington, call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900; (425) 998-8384 for an initial free consultation.