If you or a family member was charged with resisting arrest in Utah, you should contact an experienced Salt Lake City defense lawyer for legal help. You are facing serious criminal penalties – but with strategic, experience-driven legal representation, it may be possible to have the charges dismissed, have the criminal penalties reduced, or even obtain an acquittal. Resisting arrest defense attorney Darwin Overson, founder of Overson Law, PLLC, has more than 16 years of experience representing adults and minors in felony and misdemeanor criminal cases. He understands how much is stake, and will fight aggressively to preserve your freedom.
For a free legal consultation about a resisting arrest charge in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah, contact Overson Law online, or call our law offices at (801) 758-2287. Our office handles cases statewide and is here 24/7 to assist with your legal matter.
What is Interfering with a Peace Officer (Utah Code 76-8-305)?
Each state has its own legal definition of resisting arrest, starting with the name of the charge. In Utah, resisting arrest is called “interference with a peace officer.” Interfering with a peace officer, or resisting arrest, is prohibited under Utah Code § 76-8-305, which is part of the state’s broader criminal code.
Under the definition supplied by Utah Code § 76-8-305, a person resists arrest when, despite knowing (or having good reason to know) that a police officer is attempting to make an arrest or bring someone into custody, he or she takes disruptive actions that interfere with the officer’s work. As provided by law, these actions can include any of the following:
- Using physical force
- Using a weapon, such as a knife or gun
- Refusing not to “impede” or interfere with the arrest
- Refusing to follow the officer’s orders, if the following facts are also true:
- The orders were lawful
- The orders were “necessary to… [make] the arrest or detention”
- The orders were given by an officer who was “involved in the arrest or detention”
Is it Considered Resisting Arrest to Record the Police?
In short, no. As provided by Utah Code § 76-8-305(2), “Recording the actions of a law enforcement officer with a camera, mobile phone, or other photographic device, while the officer is performing official duties in plain view, does not by itself constitute” resisting arrest. It also does not constitute obstruction of justice (Utah Code § 76-8-306) or disorderly conduct (Utah Code § 76-9-102).
However, it is important to emphasize the phrase “by itself.” While standing on the sidelines and filming an officer is not considered resisting arrest, it becomes resisting arrest if the person filming attempts to interfere, or if the act of filming somehow impedes the arrest. If you were arrested for recording a police officer, which is generally within your rights under Utah Code § 76-8-305(2), you should contact an experienced resisting arrest defense lawyer immediately for legal assistance.
Is Resisting an Officer a Felony?
Utah, like many states, divides criminal offenses into misdemeanor and felony categories. There are three types of felony offenses (first degree felonies, second degree felonies, and third degree felonies), along with three types of misdemeanor offenses (Class A misdemeanors, Class B misdemeanors, and Class C misdemeanors). Why are these distinctions important?
- There are different criminal penalties for each level of offense. For certain low-level offenses, such as Class C and Class B misdemeanors, it may be possible to substitute criminal fines for work service.
- It determines where your case will be tried. Class C and Class B misdemeanor cases are tried in Justice Courts (such as the Salt Lake City Justice Court), whereas other types of cases are tried in District Courts.
Resisting arrest is a Class B misdemeanor in Utah.
How Much Jail Time Can You Get for Resisting Arrest in Utah?
The maximum penalties for a Class B misdemeanor include a jail sentence of up to six months, plus fines of up to $1,000. However, because resisting arrest is a Class B misdemeanor, it may be possible for a defendant to perform equivalent “compensatory service” (unpaid work), rather than pay the fine. Eligibility for compensatory service is determined on a case-by-case basis after consideration by the court.
Salt Lake City Defense Attorney for Resisting Arrest Charges
If you are found guilty of resisting arrest or interfering with a peace officer, you will face jail time, costly fines, and unfortunately, the many difficulties that can arise from having a criminal record. The wisest course of action is to retain a proven defense attorney, like Darwin Overson. With an impressive track record, even in complex high-stakes cases, Darwin possesses the skill, the knowledge, and the experience to represent you effectively in court. For a free legal consultation, call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287, or contact our law offices online today.