Michigan Resisting Arrest Lawyers


The crime of resisting arrest can be charged as a misdemeanor under local city ordinance, however, if it is charged under Michigan state law, resisting arrest is a felony.  Felony Michigan resisting arrest, where no injury or death of an officer occurs, is punishable by up to 2 years in prison and a $2,000.00 fine. Where injury or death of an officer occurs, resisting arrest is punishable as follows:

  • If the conduct results in bodily injury requiring medical attention or medical care, it is a felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison and a $5,000.00 fine.
  • If the conduct results in a serious impairment of a body function, it is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine.
  • If the conduct results in death, it is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $20,000.00 fine.
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Michigan Resisting Arrest Law

Resisting arrest is covered by two laws under Michigan’s penal code (MCL 750.81d and MCL 750.479), however, almost all resisting arrest offenses charged under state law are charged under the new statute (MCL 750.81d).

Resisting arrest is frequently referred to as ‘resisting and obstructing’ or ‘R& O’ for short. Resisting and obstructing under Michigan law occurs when an individual ‘assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes, or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his duties.’ There are two important factors to keep in mind regarding a Michigan resisting arrest charge:

  • “Obstruct” includes a knowing failure to comply with a lawful command. The law doesn’t require an actual physical assault – simply disobeying a lawful command can get you charged with resisting arrest.
  • A sentence for resisting and obstructing can run consecutive to any other charges from the same transaction. That means that a judge can require you to serve the sentence for this crime before serving the sentence on any other charges.

As a former prosecutor, I can tell you from firsthand experience that a resisting arrest charge gets special attention from both prosecutors and judges. Everyone wants to appear vigilant when it comes to protecting law enforcement from injury. This is understandable, however, because of the broad range of conduct entailing ‘obstruction’, many resisting arrest cases receive undeserved attention. A person who a police officer deems ‘uncooperative’ may suddenly find themselves charged with resisting and obstructing. Part of an effective defense requires making a distinction between dangerous conduct and minor indiscretions.

Suffice it to say that it is vitally important to have an experienced Michigan resisting arrest lawyer representing you when you are charged with this offense. I’ve got over 20 years in the criminal justice system and I’ve been able to help many people charged with resisting arrest put their life back in order.

If you’d like to speak with an experienced Michigan criminal lawyer, call Jeffrey Buehner for a free consultation at (248) 865-9640 or fill out our Free Consultation form.