In Oklahoma City Oklahoma, resisting an officer is legally defined as knowingly resisting — either through the use of force or violence — the action of any executive (law enforcement) officer in the performance of his or her duties. It is a misdemeanor in Oklahoma City. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 268
Elements of the Crime
Like all crimes in Oklahoma, resisting an officer has certain legal elements that must be proved by the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt. If any one element is unproven, there can be no conviction. Therefore, many defenses to the crime hinge on facts and evidence that tend to disprove any element of the crime.
These are the elements of the crime:
- by use of force or violence
- a peace or executive officer;
- in the performance of his or her official duties.
What Constitutes Resisting an Officer?
Not all resistance is created equal. The resistance used must be by force or violence. That means that there must be some form of aggression from which force or violence can be inferred. Words alone are not enough.
This can be holding a weapon ready for use, holding up fists ready to batter, or the like. It can also include physical aggression toward the officer. It can also include struggling as an officer attempts to handcuff you or apply other restraints.
The crime requires that the resistance be knowing. Thus, if you resist a person without knowing that they are an officer engaged in their duties, there is no crime. This can happen if the officer is out of uniform, or driving their own car rather than a police cruiser. That is because it is lawful to resist an unlawful arrest.
This area of the law is murky and involves case law — cases that have interpreted the meaning of the statute. For the most part, in order to arrest you the arresting officer must have a warrant, the purported illegal action for which the officer is seeking to arrest you took place in that officer’s presence, or the officer has probable cause to arrest or detain you.
Examples include being intoxicated in public, a physical altercation in public, a DUI, or if the officer has probable cause to believe that you have committed an act of domestic violence in the past four hours or you are violating a protective order.
If the arrest is unlawful, you may lawfully resist arrest as long as the force used to resist is reasonable.
This is a complicated area of the law and the facts of your case are important. Even small facts can make a big difference. That is why you need a knowledgeable Oklahoma City attorney to help. Your attorney will know what facts are important for the court to know.
If you are convicted, you could spend up to a year in jail in addition to paying possible fines. A year is a long time. Get the help you need to protect your freedom.
Free Consultation: Oklahoma City Criminal Defense Attorney
Our lawyer is well positioned to advise you accordingly, as he has the necessary training and experience. He has the wit and tenacity to match the skill of the Oklahoma City prosecutors.
For a free consultation with an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney, call Wirth Law Office – Oklahoma City at 405-888-5400.
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