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When Does Resisting Arrest Turn into Felony Assault?

Many police officers are fair minded people trying to do their job. We rarely hear of problems with them. However, many other officers are power-hungry people who insist on their way or they get violent. Hiding behind their badge, they roughhouse men and women unwilling to give them a confession. These cops are at the center of most misdemeanor Resisting Arrest charges. Unfortunately, Resisting Arrest can turn into a mandatory prison Assault in the Second Degree charge with just a quick turn of events.

The Definition of Resisting Arrest in Denver and Jefferson County

Resisting Arrest charges in Denver and Jefferson County are filed when a person "knowingly prevents or attempts to prevent a peace officer, acting under the color of his official authority, from effecting an arrest of the actor or another by:

(a) Using or threatening to use physical force or violence against the peace officer or another; or

(b) Using any other means which creates a substantial risk of causing bodily injury to the peace officer or another."

C.R.S. 18-8-103. This statute was designed to prevent people from making it hard for an officer to handcuff you. In practical effect, it is charged when anyone yells at a cop while he tries to arrest someone or encourages another not to let a cop handcuff them. No physical contact with the officer is needed whatsoever. Even if you just hurt their feelings or make them mad, they will often arrest you for this charge.

Assault in the Second Degree in Arapahoe County - A felony with Mandatory Prison

This is a long statute, involving serious bodily injury to people. But, in the case of police officers, it is much easier to charge Second Degree Assault. Here is the portion of this law which relates to cops:

"With intent to prevent one whom he or she knows, or should know, to be a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider from performing a lawful duty, he or she intentionally causes bodily injury to any person." C.R.S. 18-3-203.

Putting These Two Crimes Together

Since "bodily injury" is defined as "pain", you can quickly meet the terms of this statute when a cop feels "pain" while making an arrest. So, if you resist, and the officer is scratched, scraped, falls or is bumped, and they say it hurt, you will face a charge of Assault in the Second Degree in Douglas County, with mandatory prison.

Our lawmakers must be crazy. Police are in the business of arresting men and women who are on drugs, drunk and out of control. They should take precautions to protect themselves from getting scratched, or get out of the business. I feel it is unreasonable to send someone to prison for a minor "pain" experienced by a professional. Like all mandatory sentence crimes, this one does not account for the fact that good men and women can have a bad day and not be thinking straight. Absent a serious injury or the use of a deadly weapon, people should not be going to prison for five years because a cop gets an owie.

We strive to get charges dismissed, reduced, or a jury finding of not guilty. You can help your criminal defense lawyers in Adams County do just that by never answering questions from police. You have the right to remain silent and should exercise that right. Then, call our defense attorneys at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

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