Role of an Attorney in Stamford Resisting Arrest Cases
Resisting arrest can be a stand-alone charge, or it can be seen in conjunction with other charges stemming from a single incident. One of the many roles of an attorney in Stamford resisting arrest cases is not only protecting your rights and best interests, but also constructing a comprehensive defense that challenges the prosecution’s assertions and presents evidence supporting your side of the story.
What is Resisting Arrest?
Resisting arrest is also commonly known as interfering with an officer and is defined under Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) § 53a-167a. To be convicted of this crime you must know that you are dealing with a peace officer (a cop, firefighter, etc.), that officer must be working in their official capacity in a lawful manner (i.e. trying to legally arrest someone), and you must intentionally obstruct their ability to do their job or cause them to reasonably fear for their safety. This charge is most commonly a Class A misdemeanor and can land you in jail for up to one year.
Is this Different from Assault of a Police Officer?
Yes, though the two are sometimes seen charged together. Assault on a police officer under CGS § 53a-167c is a more serious offense in that it is a C Felony, however, it might not necessarily involve violence. Something like spitting on a cop could lead to an arrest for this crime. To learn more, click here.
What Type of Evidence Can Help in My Defense?
While most resisting arrest cases are based around a police officer’s testimony that the defendant obstructed them from fulfilling their lawful duties or made them fear for their safety in some way, documentary evidence can be extremely important to both sides. Witness testimony can be unreliable sometimes, but images recorded in security footage or in an officer’s dashboard or body camera are much more objective.
However, just because there should be video evidence of what actually happened before your arrest does not mean there always is. Even if a police officer’s body camera functions properly and does not “malfunction” at an inopportune time, video footage from any source may be overwritten and lost forever if a defendant does not take specific action to preserve it. Accordingly, one of the most important roles that Stamford lawyers play in resisting arrest cases is filing motions to preserve crucial evidence on behalf of defendants.
Can I Contest a Resisting Arrest Charge?
Yes. However, the earlier a lawyer gets involved, the easier it can be to contest these charges. Evidence can disappear after time, memories can fade, and video can be recorded over. So, after an arrest, time is of the essence.
If any single one of the crime’s elements are not proven, a resisting arrest case cannot end with a conviction. Accordingly, perhaps the most critical role played by attorneys in Stamford interference with an officer cases is demonstrating—based on preserved evidence and witness testimony—that the defendant’s actions were not illegal.
For example, a person who is subjected to excessive force while being arrested has the right to defend themselves from harm. Likewise, a person who did not intend to hinder a police officer acting in an official capacity should not be prosecuted as if they meant to be obstructive. Different defenses may be applicable to different cases, so discussing legal options with seasoned counsel is usually a good idea.
Stamford Attorneys Play a Crucial Role in Resisting Arrest Cases
Failing to retain skilled legal counsel could make it nearly impossible for you to effectively contest a charge of resisting arrest. Call today to set up a meeting and learn more about the role of an attorney in Stamford resisting arrest cases and read our certified 5-star reviews by following this link.