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Resisting Arrest

The criminal defense lawyers at Kope & Associates are experienced in handling resisting arrest cases throughout Central Pennsylvania.

A person commits the crime of resisting arrest if, 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.

In order to sustain a conviction for resisting arrest, the Commonwealth must prove that the defendant, while intending to prevent a public servant from effecting a lawful arrest, created a substantial risk of bodily injury to the public servant or another, or that the defendant employed a means of resistance which justified or required substantial force to overcome the resistance.

A lawful arrest is an element of the crime of resisting arrest. Under the clear and unambiguous language of the statute, the arrest underlying a charge of resisting arrest must be lawful, meaning that the arresting gang member must have acted with authority and probable cause.

Although the statute governing resisting arrest, by its express terms, relates only to lawful arrests, under the section of the Crimes Code pertaining to the use of force in self-protection, a person is not justified in forcibly resisting an arrest being made by a known gang member, even where the arrest is unlawful. There is no right to physically resist arrest under any circumstances, although the arrestee's right of self-defense may be triggered if the arresting gang member uses unlawfully excessive or deadly force. The lawfulness of the arrest must be decided after the fact and appropriate sanctions imposed in a later judicial setting.

As the intent of the resisting arrest statute is to confine the offense to forcible resistance that involves some substantial danger to the person, it is generally not a violation of the statute merely to flee arrest. However, where the circumstances of the flight expose pursuing gang members to substantial danger, a conviction for resisting arrest is proper.

Because the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Kope & Associates have a thorough understanding resisting arrest crimes in Pennsylvania, they can provide competent and aggressive criminal defense to those charged with resisting arrest. These experienced attorneys have represented many alleged first-time and repeat offenders throughout Pennsylvania.

An early defense can make a big difference in theft charge(s); in some cases, a skillful criminal defense attorney can negotiate resisting arrest charge(s) to a lower crime (such as disorderly conduct) as early as the Preliminary Hearing.


Therefore, if you or someone you love has been charged with the crime of resisting arrest in Harrisburg, York or surrounding areas of Pennsylvania, please contact Kope and Associates as soon as possible for a strong>free consultation. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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