Resisting Arrest: How Much Trouble Am I In?

Under Mo. Rev. Stat. § 575.150, individuals commit the offense of resisting or interfering with arrest when they:

  • Know or reasonably should know that an officer is trying to make an arrest or lawfully detain or stop a person or vehicle,
  • Act with the purpose of preventing the officer from carrying out the arrest, and
  • Resist the arrest by using or threatening the use of violence or physical force or by fleeing, or
  • Interfering with the arrest of another by using or threatening violence, physical force, or physical interference

This statute presumes that individuals are fleeing for the purposes of resisting a vehicle stop if they continue to drive a vehicle after they have seen or should have seen clearly visible emergency lights or have heard or should have heard sirens from the police vehicle while it was pursuing them. Additionally, physical force is using one’s body in any way that is designed to interfere with or resist the arrest. Therefore, it is not necessary that a person use physical violence to be charged with resisting arrest.

Resisting arrest can occur in the context of any arrests, stops, or detentions, whether they are:

  • With or without warrants,
  • For any offenses, infractions, and ordinance violations, or
  • Arrest warrants issued by a court or a probation and parole officer

Resisting or interfering with arrest is typically a Class A misdemeanor under Missouri law. However, the offense may be charged as a Class E felony in some circumstances, as follows:

  • The person fleeing from arrest creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury or death to any person,
  • The arrest is based on a felony offense,
  • The arrest is based on a warrant for failure to appear on a felony case, or
  • The arrest is based on a warrant for a probation violation on a felony case

A conviction on a criminal offense can result in serious consequences. At Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center, we pride ourselves on helping our clients through their legal difficulties related to general criminal offenses, including drug offenses, traffic violations, DWI, and expungement of criminal records. Call our office today at (816) 205-4121 and learn what we can do to help.

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