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 free oneself 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 stated that not all arrests are lawful and based upon probable cause. However, an attempt at resisting arrest can lead to additional charges.

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

United States[edit]

The courts in the United States 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, without any underlying cause for the original decision to arrest or even if the original arrest was clearly illegal.[1][2]


The Danish penal code[3] 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.[4] Conversely, knowingly and willfully resisting a lawful police arrest with threats or violence may indirectly constitute obstructing official duty.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ RM 9-1994: Meddelelse om overtrædelse af straffelovens § 119, stk. 3., State prosecutor of Denmark
  4. ^ Article 8, Chapter 2, Constitution of the Republic of China
  5. ^ Article 135, Criminal Code of the Republic of China