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Resisting Arrest

Resisting Arrest is one of the most difficult misdemeanor criminal offenses to be charged with. It is difficult because it is one of the only criminal offense where the police department is prosecuting you and they are also the “victim” of the crime. That alone makes it one of the most important misdemeanor charges for which getting legal representation is imperative. Criminal Defense Attorney Joanne M. Stella has over 20 year’s experience representing those accused of crimes and handling these often complex cases.


Resisting Arrest is typically charged at the highest level, which is a class A misdemeanor and carries a potential jail sentence of up to one year. Quite often the police are investigating something fairly minor, such as “Urinating in Public (Disorderly Actions)” or “Littering”, when panic sets in and someone decides to run away. This flight, and subsequent inevitable tackle by the police officer and aggressive wrangling to get the cuffs up, turns the case into a serious criminal charge. Often times those accused of this offense were unaware that a police officer was trying to arrest them. Criminal Defense Attorney Joanne M. Stella has vast experience handling these types of cases.


New Hampshire law makes it illegal to physically interfere with a law enforcement office seeking to arrest or even detain you. So, if the police are merely conducting an investigation they can detain you. However, they must have reasonable, articulable suspicion that you have committed a crime or are about to commit a crime. Furthermore, when placing you under arrest they must have probable cause to believe you have committed a crime.


A conviction for “Resisting Arrest” can have serious collateral consequences beyond the penalties imposed in court. Under New Hampshire law this can be considered an obstruction of justice offense and therefore makes it ineligible for removal from your record no matter how much time has passed. Also, if you are a UNH student this charge can trigger loss of grants, permission to study abroad and even suspension from the University. A criminal record can also affect future employment.


Criminal Defense Attorney Joanne M. Stella can assist you in mounting the best and most effective defense to these types of charges. Contact Attorney Stella right away for a free consultation.

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