Resisting Arrest or Obstructing a Peace Officer in Illinois
If you have been charged with resisting arrest or obstructing a peace officer in Illinois, you know that these are very serious crimes. The State has a strong interest in ensuring that it can enforce the law, so it provides stiff penalties for interfering with the enforcement process. Illinois has left the wording of the statute governing these crimes, 720 ILCS 5/31-1, somewhat vague so that it can cover a broad range of acts that interfere with law enforcement. Chicago criminal defense lawyer Michael P. Schmiege will fight for you in your resisting arrest charge.
What is Resisting Arrest in Illinois?
A person resists arrest when he or she makes an affirmative act of defiance when an officer is attempting to arrest the individual. The affirmative act might consist of:
- Pulling away from the officer;
- Refusing to put hands behind the head or the back; or
- Fleeing away from the officer.
We repeat that the law is vaguely worded so that the charge can capture almost any act that serves to resist an officer’s attempt to make an arrest. In addition, Illinois provides you with no right to resist an unlawful arrest. You must cooperate with an officer making an unlawful arrest the same as you should with an officer making a lawful arrest. The charge of resisting arrest is equally valid for an unlawful arrest as for a lawful one.
What is Obstructing a Peace Officer in Illinois?
Obstructing a peace officer consists of virtually any behavior that impedes an officer’s investigation or pursuit of a case. Refusing an officer’s command to do something, even to get out of the way, could result in a charge of Obstructing a Peace Officer.
What are the Penalties for Resisting Arrest or Obstructing a Peace Officer in Chicago?
Resisting arrest and obstructing a peace officer are both Class A misdemeanors. A conviction on a Class A misdemeanor can put you in jail for up to one year and result in monetary fines up to $2,500. In some circumstances, resisting arrest can be a Class 4 felony, resulting in up to 3 years in prison and fines of up to $25,000. An experienced criminal defense lawyer in Chicago like Michael P. Schmiege could explain why resisting arrest might have resulted in a felony charge for you.
Supervision by the court is not available on these charges. A conviction requires that you spend at least 48 hours behind bars and perform at least 100 hours of community service. Your minimum sentence is a conviction that can’t be expunged from your record.
You Need a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago to Fight Your Charge
A conviction that can’t be expunged from your record can have negative effects on your entire life. When that charge is for interfering with or resisting the justice process, the consequences can be particularly difficult for you. Job applications, apartment applications, loan applications, and even applications to attend school might all be quickly turned down.
Your criminal defense lawyer in Chicago, Michael P. Schmiege, will fight for your rights and your chance to keep your record clear of the resisting/obstructing conviction. Mr. Schmiege’s experience with Chicago resisting arrest cases could be your key to a favorable outcome in your case.
Michael P. Schmiege will thoroughly review all of the specific facts and circumstances of your case to determine what your strongest defense strategies might be. His dedicated efforts could help you win a not guilty verdict or a minimum sentence.
Contact Chicago Criminal Lawyer Michael P. Schmiege today for your free legal consultation.