Like most New Yorkers, you have a healthy respect for law enforcement officers. Nonetheless, if you do not believe you have committed a crime, having an officer handcuff you may seem unacceptable. Still, resisting arrest may complicate your criminal case. It could also lead to other serious consequences.
In New York, you meet the elements of resisting arrest if you either intentionally prevent or attempt to prevent an officer from conducting an authorized arrest. An authorized arrest occurs when officers have probable cause to believe you have committed a crime.
Officers may have authorization to arrest you
Even if you are innocent of the crime, officers may have probable cause to arrest you. That is, they may have evidence that you were involved in criminal activity. Even if that evidence is insufficient to support a conviction at trial, it may be enough for the arrest to be both legal and justifiable.
Resisting arrest may result in additional charges
Facing any criminal prosecution can seem daunting. After all, you may have one or more charges to address. Adding a resisting arrest charge may complicate your defense strategy. It may also diminish your chances of pursuing a plea deal. Either way, submitting to the arresting officer is usually an effective way to minimize your legal exposure.
Resisting arrest may be dangerous
As you know, officers usually carry weapons. While simply telling an officer that you object to the arrest may not encourage him or her to use force, you must think about your personal safety. Further, if officers think you are a danger to them, others or yourself, you can expect them to use enough force to subdue you. That level of force may result in either serious bodily injury or death.
You may believe officers have no reason to arrest you. Still, resisting arrest is usually not a good idea. Rather than risking additional charges and your personal well-being, consider allowing officers to arrest you. Then, clean up the situation after you are in a safe place.