Resisting Arrest in PA is a serious misdemeanor offense. It just sounds nasty on your criminal record. We also find that this is one of the crimes in PA that are just overcharged and the government has no realistic hope of getting a conviction. That’s because we know the law. A conviction for the crime is like a diamond, it lasts forever. You have to be extremely careful with who you pick to handle this case because picking wrong can ruin your life. When people ask “Who is the best Resisting Arrest attorney near me?” The people have spoken, it’s The McShane Firm
Professional, Reliable, and Trustworthy
I reached out to a few different firms after receiving my court details in the mail, but I quickly realized that the McShane firm felt the most consistent and genuinely interested in my case. They’re very passionate about getting you the best results, and communication with attorney Corey Fahnestock was quick and easy. Both attorney Corey Fahnestock and Cassandra Frantz were very helpful and informative as they were consistently updating me whenever a delay or change in terms would occur. Worth every dollar! I highly recommend Corey Fahnestock for anyone serious about seeking true justice!
Justin McShane and his firm are the best in the nation. They handle and win the toughest cases on a regular basis. Justin and his wife are not only trial lawyers but they are also scientist. When a lawyer can combine this type of knowledge, tenacity and trial skills…it’s a work of art. If they will take your case, you are very lucky. When you can’t afford to lost, you call the McShane firm.
I cannot thank them enough for the outcome of my case. Attorney Tim Barrouk was dealing with a client who was on edge, never been arrested, and didn’t trust him 100% in the beginning, but he came recommended so he was my lawyer. I remember offering to hire a second attorney to help and he reassured me he had it under control. After a while it appeared I made a great choice. He knew the pros & cons of every judge my case was assigned to, he knew when to talk and when to listen in court, he didn’t let me take a bad deal, never pressured me, and responded to every text or call I ever placed to him. Cathi Lee kept me updated on where to be and when to be there. and was always available also. I was facing an Aggravated Assault charge causing serious bodily injury, simple assault, unlawful restraint, and 4 other misdemeanor charges and facing up to 10+ years in state prison. I never denied what I did and there was even video of me doing it. At the end of the day, All my charges were dropped and replaced with one summary offense of disorderly conduct and I was sentenced to pay a $25 fine plus court costs. Tim was always honest, and even told me flat out, these charges fit what you did but your case is triable and we’re gonna work for the best outcome. There were no promises or bs, just facts and business. Thank you Tim and the rest of The McShane Firm for getting me justice and not letting me get lost in the system.
You can read the exact law here: Resisting Arrest 18 P.S. § 5104
What the government needs to prove:
Resisting Arrest is a very simple statute, but the devil is in the details. As we will see.
Remember at all times, if the government has charged you with any crime including Resisting Arrest, you are innocent in the eyes of the law. Before you start the eternal you are Not Guilty. You remain that way unless the government can present a mountain of evidence proving your guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to convict you the government must prove the following:
- the accused
- with the intent of
- preventing a public servant from effecting a lawful arrest or discharging any other duty,
- the person creates a substantial risk of bodily injury
- to the public servant or anyone else, or
- employs means justifying or requiring substantial force to overcome the resistance.
But the nuance is in the case law
Through a series of decisions, our appeals courts have narrowed the conduct that justifies a conviction for resisting arrest quite a bit. Simply running away from the police (unless you knowingly create an unacceptable risk of bodily injury such as jumping building top to building top), is not resisting arrest. The same proves true with simply failing your arms or refusing to provide your arms to handcuffing. That type of conduct might seem like you are resisting, but not in the eyes of the law. It is not resisting arrest if a protester who is being removed from an area goes limp and refuses to participate in his or her removal or handcuffing.
What is bodily injury?
The law reads as follows:
“Bodily injury.” Impairment of physical condition or substantial pain.
I know what you’re thinking “What the heck does that mean?”
It means whatever a jury wants it to mean. This is where having the right attorney who can explain how your conduct doesn’t fit the crime can make all of the difference.
What is with intent mean?
We find the definition of recklessly at 18 P.S. 302.
A person acts intentionally with respect to a material element of an offense when:
(i) if the element involves the nature of his conduct or a result thereof, it is his conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such a result; and
(ii) if the element involves the attendant circumstances, he is aware of the existence of such circumstances or he believes or hopes that they exist.
But what does that mean? Well the best way to explain it is by what it is not. Intentional behavior is more than knowing, reckless and more than mere negligence.
To put it simply:
- Intentional means that you are aware of what you are doing and do it on purpose for its intended aim.
- A person acts knowingly when he acts with the certainty that a certain result will follow from his actions.
- A person acts recklessly if the person does not know for sure that a specific result will follow. Recklessness means that you knowingly take a risk.
- Negligence occurs when a person unknowingly takes a risk that they should have been aware of..
So in the real world, it means whatever a jury wants it to mean. This is where having the right attorney who can explain how your conduct doesn’t fit the crime can make all of the difference.
If you are convicted or found guilty of Resisting Arrest, it is a misdemeanor of the second degree. Beyond the instant concerns you likely have about jail, probation, fines and costs, you need to be aware of Misdemeanor Conviction Consequences in Pennsylvania.
The maximum penalty for all misdemeanors of the second degree in Pennsylvania is a period of jail not to exceed two years. The maximum fine is not to exceed $5,000.00