Something has occurred. The police are asking you questions. You may not know exactly what is happening. Perhaps you were caught off guard, but tensing up or trying to turn to ask a police officer why he is putting handcuffs on you can be interpreted as resisting arrest. Law enforcement officers are often on high alert since their lives are often at risk. What you may think is an innocent movement or motion can be misinterpreted and result in your arrest.
In New Hampshire, resisting arrest is a misdemeanor during which a person “knowingly or purposely physically interferes with a person recognized to be a law enforcement official, including a probation or parole officer, seeking to effect an arrest or detention of the person or another regardless of whether there is a legal basis for the arrest.” This charge can carry up to a year in jail if convicted. If, during the act of resisting, serious bodily injury occurs to another person the charge increases to a class B felony, which means even more jail time – anywhere from 3 ½ to 7 years.
New Hampshire law provides that if you are being arrested by the police, it is your duty to cooperate and not resist. The Arrest Statute, NH RSA 594:5, states that a person who is being arrested by a peace officer is to “submit to arrest and refrain from using force or any weapon in resisting it, regardless of whether there is a legal basis for the arrest.”
You are allowed to verbally protest the arrest, but if any force is applied or threats of violence are made, that may qualify as resisting arrest.
In many resisting arrest cases, the person being arrested is simply trying to find out what is happening and why they are being arrested. Sometimes the person being arrested is the victim of mistaken identity and is confused about why they are being detained and questioned. Any time you are reasonably aware that the person attempting to arrest you is a police officer, parole officer, or probation officer it is best to peacefully submit to the arrest.
Resisting arrest in New Hampshire does not only mean running from a police officer or struggling with an officer who is trying to put cuffs on. NH law is considerably more expansive and the basis for the arrest can be as simple as trying to turn around and ask a question to the arresting officer. This is why it is important to hire an experienced criminal attorney who is familiar with these types of charges.
At Tenn And Tenn, our criminal lawyers have significant experience defending individuals charged with resisting arrest. We will listen to your story and will explore all possible defenses to the charges. The actions of the arresting officer may be brought into question – whether he used too much or unnecessary force, perhaps. And, above all, the person being arrested must have been able to identify the arresting officer as an agent of the law. Be sure to have a team you trust on your side. We are here to help and stand ready to protect your Constitutional and legal rights. Call (603) 624-3700 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation with an attorney from Tenn And Tenn, P.A. Let us help you get your life back on track and put your arrest behind you.