Resisting Arrest, Fleeing From Police, Escape Custody

Virginia Beach Attorney For Resisting Arrest Criminal Charge

Nobody wants to be taken into police custody and arrested for a criminal charge. However, the law in Virginia demands that if the police have a warrant for your arrest, or if they have probably cause to make an arrest without a warrant, you must submit to that authority or risk addition criminal charges.

In most cases, resisting arrest charges are misdemeanor offenses punishable by up to 12 months in jail. Additionally, if an individual is injured during an attempt by police officers to make a lawful arrest, provided the force used was necessary, they have will likely have no civil claim against the police officer.

Resisting Arrest

In order to be convicted of a resisting arrest charge in Virginia Beach, an individual must first be proven to be lawfully under arrest. While most arrests are made lawfully, that is based on probably cause or pursuant to a warrant, there are some circumstances where they are not.

Any citizen may lawfully resist arrest, even by means of reasonable physical self-defense, if the police officer is acting outside the limits of his authority. This would be the case if the officer was attempting to arrest someone for a charge that doesn’t exist, for instance, “rudely carrying a firearm”, or “driving with excessive bumper stickers”; or if the officer does not have probable cause to support an arrest. Not having probable cause is much different from that individual being able to persuade a  judge the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction.

Secondly, the individual being taken into custody must offer resistance that is more than just that of making the officer’s task more difficult. Squirming while on the ground in an attempt to avoid being handcuffed may be argued as only making the job more difficult; intentionally removing the handcuffs after being placed in the police car may be resisting.


A resisting arrest charge can also result when a person has been informed by a police officer they are under arrest, and then upon the officer applying physical force to them they run away. Resisting arrest can also be charged if the officer does not apply physical force, but has the immediate physical ability to make the arrest, tells the individual they are under arrest and the individual flees.


An escape may be charged against any individual who is already in the custody of the court or law-enforcement officer, and that person escapes from that custody. Escape is a misdemeanor offense, provided there is no force used, otherwise it may be charged as a felony.

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Contact A Criminal Defense Attorney in Virginia Beach Today (757) 422-4646

The criminal defense attorneys at Garrett Law Group, PLC in Virginia Beach are available 24/7/365 to discuss your case. We have help many people defend resisting arrest charges successfully. Call or contact us online today.