Resisting arrest

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In some countries, resisting arrest is a criminal charge against an individual who has committed, depending on the jurisdiction, at least one of the following acts:

  • fleeing a police officer while being arrested
  • threatening a police officer with physical violence while being arrested
  • physically struggling to get out from being restrained (handcuffed or put into the police vehicle)
  • attacking a police officer while being arrested
  • providing an officer with false identification (either verbally or by presentation of a false official document, i.e. a fake ID)

The website Resisting Arrest[1] states that not all arrests are lawful and based upon probable cause. However, an attempt at resisting arrest can lead to additional charges. It is also possible that an overzealous[2] police officer might try to justify the use of excessive force by claiming that the person was resisting arrest.

Similar offenses may be defined very differently in other countries.[citation needed]

United States[edit]

The courts in the United States of America regard resisting arrest as a separate charge or crime in addition to other alleged crimes committed by the arrested person. It is possible to be charged, tried and convicted on this charge alone.[3] [4]


The Danish penal code[5] makes allowance for some forms of eluding and thus is very different from the penal code in the United States.


Resisting arrest in Norway can be punished with up to 3 months in jail.[citation needed]


Any arrest, not in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law, may be constitutionally resisted.[6] Conversely, knowingly and willfully resisting a lawful police arrest with threats or violence may indirectly constitute obstructing official duty.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Defined on Wiktionary as Too zealous; too enthusiastic, determined; too fervent.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ RM 9-1994: Meddelelse om overtrædelse af straffelovens § 119, stk. 3., State prosecutor of Denmark
  6. ^ Article 8, Chapter 2, Constitution of the Republic of China
  7. ^ Article 135, Criminal Code of the Republic of China