Resisting arrest, or “resisting a public officer” as it is worded in the Nevada Laws (NRS 119.280), involves delaying, resisting, or obstructing a public officer who is attempting to carry out his or her legal job duties. Doing so where a firearm is involved is considered a category C Felony. Doing so with another deadly weapon involved is a category D felony. When there is no weapon involved, it is known as a misdemeanor crime.
Examples of resisting a public officer include running away or attempting to flee by vehicle when an officer approaches or tries to place a citizen under arrest, attempting to take a weapon from the officer, and not following the officer’s instructions during handcuffing. Fighting the officer, or even responding in a verbally abusive manner when he or she attempts to give you orders, is also considered resisting arrest.
Should you harm an officer in the process of resisting, or use force against him or her, you could receive a more serious charge – assault and battery of a public officer.
Resisting Arrest: Punishments
If no weapon is involved, and the crime falls under the category of a misdemeanor, the penalties include up to six months of jail time and/or up to $1,000 in fines.
Should a deadly weapon have been involved, the penalty is one to four years in a Nevada state prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines. If that deadly weapon was a firearm, you could be facing from 1-5 years in prison and upwards of $10,000 in fines.
Assault or battery are separate charges and carry their own stiff penalties.
Not Just Police Officers
You will notice that the term “public officer” is used when describing the statute. This is because you may be charged with resisting a public officer (resisting arrest) even if you do not come into contact with a police officer. NRS 200.481 defines “public officer” as:
- A peace officer or individual with all or some of the powers of a peace officer.
- A firefighter, whether employed full-time or serving as a volunteer.
- A jailor, guard, or other correctional officer.
- Any judge, justice, court commissioner, or the like.
- An employee of the state whose official duties include home visits, such as a probation officer, social worker, etc.
In other words, a citizen can be charged with evading a public officer if he or she refuses to respond to a firefighter or probation officer’s requests.
Fighting Resisting Arrest Charges
When faced with resisting arrest charges, there are three basic avenues one can pursue.
Your lawyer may argue that you were not in fact resisting arrest or the requests of a public officer, using a deadly weapon or firearm, or otherwise.
It can also be claimed that it was not your intent to resist. For example, if the charge involves movement during handcuffing, it could have been due to physical discomfort, rather than the intention to flee or create hardship. You may have been resisting because the officer was using excessive force. Should this be the case, you may argue from a self-defense standpoint when presenting your case to the judge and jury.
Finally, should the officer have arrested you unlawfully or without just cause, you might be able to fight the charges successfully on these grounds. This includes a case where the officer did not have the proper warrant or probable cause for arresting you.
Don’t Face Resisting Arrest Charges Alone!
Resisting a public officer in the state of Nevada is a serious crime – one that may come with serious (and costly) consequences. It is important to find good legal representation when faced with such charges. You do not have to face them alone.
At Weiner Law Group, we have extensive experience working in the Las Vegas area’s unique legal environment. If you are facing charges of resisting arrest, contact us at 702-202-0500 to set up an appointment.
Facing a charge of resisting arrest in the state of Nevada? They can be serious, but we can help you fight them. Call the criminal defense lawyers at Weiner Law Group today at 702-202-0500.