Police stop drivers on suspicion of driving under the influence all the time. If you have been stopped for a DUI, you’ll be facing serious charges.

These charges could worsen if accusations of resisting arrest in West Chester, Oxford, Coatesville, or anywhere in Chester County arise. While you do have certain rights afforded to you under the law, resisting arrest isn’t one of them. Your DUI stop may be completely unjust.

PA Law for Resisting Arrest

Resisting arrest may seem like a cut and dry charge. But it is more detailed than you might think. In the state of Pennsylvania, you do not have the right to prevent police or law enforcement from arresting you willfully.

Situations for Resisting Arrest

If police tried to put handcuffs on you and accuse you of pulling away, this would be a classic case of resisting arrest. But there are other situations you could find yourself facing a resisting arrest charge during a DUI stop.

Some could include:

  • Creating a risk of injury to police or law enforcement
  • Interfering with police duties
  • Creating a situation that requires police to use significant force to gain control of the situation

Resisting arrest is not a minor charge. It’s in addition to your DUI charges and could have a devastating impact on your DUI case.

Penalties for Resisting Arrest During a DUI Stop

On top of being charged with a DUI, you’ll also be charged with resisting arrest. DUIs carry severe penalties of their own, including:

Whether this is your first or second DUI, or if you are a habitual offender, you can expect zero compassion from the police or prosecutor handling your case. Being accused of resisting arrest changes their willingness to work with you to clear your name.

In addition to your DUI penalties, you’ll be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor for resisting arrest. This is punishable by a maximum prison term of two years and fines as high as $5,000.

How to Defend Your DUI Resisting Arrest Charges

You have the right to defend yourself at trial. But complex cases like yours will require formidable defenses.

Misunderstood Actions

Many different behaviors could be misconstrued as resisting arrest. Maybe you simply refused to consent to a breathalyzer, and police then made claims that you resisted arrest.

The DUI Stop Was Illegal

Another way you could defend your case is by questioning the validity of the DUI stop. For a resisting arrest charge to be considered lawful, your DUI stop will also need to be considered lawful.

Your criminal defense attorney will examine every detail of your case to see if there is factual evidence that shows police misconduct or an otherwise illegal DUI stop.

The Arrest Was Not by a Public Servant

You could also argue that the resisting arrest charge be dropped if the person attempting to arrest you was not a public servant.

Under Pennsylvania law, only police and law enforcement officials can place people under arrest. For instance, a resisting arrest charge shouldn’t stick if a security guard tried to arrest you.

Contact a DUI Lawyer in West Chester

Resisting arrest after being stopped for a DUI in West Chester, Phoenixville, Exton, Wayne, or Kenneth Square, requires an experienced criminal defense attorney. The penalties for a DUI are steep as it is; however, this charge paired with resisting arrest could have a devastating impact on your life.

Don’t compromise your freedom. Defend yourself at trial and fight for your libertines. Skinner Law Firm can help you clear your name of all charges. Contact our office by phone at 610-436-1410. Or fill out our convenient contact form to schedule your initial consultation as soon as today.

Article Author

Michael J. Skinner, the founder of Skinner Law Firm LLC, is a former prosecutor with the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

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