If you are pulled over by police, or if law enforcement officers come to your home, or seek to take you into custody anywhere, what right do you have to resist arrest, search or transportation by police to a detention facility? This blog addresses these issues. If you have been charged with resisting arrest under Pennsylvania law, you want an experienced lawyer to protect your interests. The Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr., can help.
Resisting Arrest in Pennsylvania
Under Pennsylvania law, it is a second degree misdemeanor to attempt to prevent a law enforcement officer from making a lawful arrest, either of you or a third person. If your efforts to avoid arrest either pose a substantial risk of bodily injury to the police officer or another person, or if the police officer must use “substantial force” to overcome your resistance, you have violated the law. If convicted, you could face up to two years in jail, as well as a $5,000 fine.
If you believe that you are being wrongfully detained or arrested, your best course of action is to cooperate with law enforcement officers. You are not required to answer any questions they ask you, and have the right to contact your lawyer and have legal counsel present as soon as possible. You should try to remember everything that is said and done and share it with your attorney as soon as possible.
Resisting Search in Pennsylvania
You are not required to give consent to a warrantless search in Pennsylvania. If police ask to search your home, vehicle or other property, and you agree, you cannot subsequently argue that they did not have a warrant. There are also circumstances where police do not need a warrant to conduct a search. If there is visible evidence that a crime has been committed, or if it can be shown that valuable evidence would be lost if police had to obtain a warrant, a warrant is not required.
If police have a valid warrant, you do not have the legal right to resist a search. If you do, you may be charged with obstruction of justice.
Resisting Transportation by Police
There is no requirement in Pennsylvania that you submit to transportation by a law enforcement officer, unless you have been taken into custody. If you have been arrested and refuse to get in a police car, you can be charged with resisting arrest.
Contact the Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr.
Let us put more than 30 years of experience to work for you. We provide a free initial consultation to every client. To arrange a private meeting with an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney, contact us online or call us at 610-565-0240. We are available to meet with you evenings or weekends upon request. We take Visa, MasterCard and Discover, as well as debit cards.