Loyola University is located in the Baltimore suburbs. Students frequently go off campus and into the city that could lead to run-ins with police and law enforcement. If you find yourself in trouble with the law, any instances of struggling or resistance could be deemed resisting arrest, and you might find yourself facing additional criminal charges because of it.
If you are a Loyola University student or have a child who attends Loyola and your student was charged with resisting arrest, contact the Rice, Murtha & Psoras right away. Our resisting arrest attorney for Loyola University students may be able to take your case and help you fight the charges you face. For a free legal consultation on your case, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.
Resisting Arrest Charges Under Maryland Code § 9-408
Resisting arrest is a relatively serious offense. Police face many safety risks while enforcing the law or policing crime on the streets, and strict laws aimed at punishing people who commit violent crimes against police officers or try to fight back against lawful arrests are used to help protect police. However, these laws are often far-reaching and might be applied unjustly to many people whose acts should not amount to a crime.
Under Md. Code, Criminal Law, § 9-408, resisting arrest is not given a specific definition. Instead, the law simply says that you cannot “resist a lawful arrest.” This statute also bans interfering with someone else’s arrest, so you cannot stop a cop from arresting a friend or someone else.
Because “resisting arrest” is not explicitly defined, police may arrest you for a wide range of potential conduct. Generally, it is presumed that “resisting arrest” must use force of some kind. This could include shoving police officers, forcing your arms apart so they cannot cuff you, physically resisting attempts to hold or restrain you, or fighting back against police. However, many instances of less violent or dangerous activity could also be construed as “resisting arrest.” For instance, going limp and failing to comply with police orders might make it more difficult for them to arrest you, and they could need to use multiple officers to affect the arrest and get you into a police cruiser. This could also count as resisting arrest.
Being arrested can be incredibly stressful, especially if police have you at gunpoint or are yelling orders at you. Failing to follow orders to get on the ground, put your hands up, or perform other acts might amount to resisting arrest in some cases, but some of these charges should not hold up in court.
Running from police is typically considered “escape” instead of resisting arrest, which can be charged under different code sections. Moreover, any violence used against a police officer could be charged separately as assault. Even spitting on a police officer during an arrest could lead to separate charges.
Penalties for Students Resisting Arrest in MD
Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor offense. This is lower than a felony offense, but it can still carry substantial jail time and high fines. Generally, resisting arrest can be punished by up to 3 years in jail and fines up to $5,000. The jail time can sometimes be replaced by probation, which allows you to stay out of jail in exchange for following check-in procedures and other restrictions. Talk to a lawyer about what potential penalties you might face.
In addition to the criminal penalties, you could face other societal penalties. A criminal conviction may lead to expulsion at Loyola, and a criminal record could make it harder to get student loans, find a job, or seek other benefits. If you are an international student, an arrest may also lead to deportation or cause your visa to be revoked.
Defenses to Resisting Arrest Charges in Maryland
Resisting arrest, as defined in § 9-408, has certain restrictions that might help you beat charges as well as general defenses that might help you avoid prosecution or get charges dropped and dismissed.
First, the arrest must be lawful for resisting arrest charges to be valid. If a police officer has no grounds to arrest you, was harassing you, or otherwise performed an illegal arrest, you may be allowed to resist. However, if the officer honestly believed the arrest to be valid, resisting arrest charges may still stand.
Second, a claim of self-defense might help you beat charges. The force a police officer uses during an arrest must be proportional to the risks. If police officers violate policies by using excessive force, beating you into unconsciousness, or putting your life and safety at unnecessary risk, you might be able to overcome resisting arrest charges if you acted to protect yourself.
Resisting arrest should only be charged once per arrest. This means that you should not face multiple counts of resisting arrest just because there were multiple police officers involved. Instead, you should only face one count of resisting arrest, and other counts should be dropped.
With resisting arrest charges, there must be an initial arrest for police to charge you with resisting. If those charges drop away, you may face resisting arrest charges by themselves. This does not, by itself, mean the resisting arrest charges must go away, but prosecutors may be willing to drop resisting arrest charges when charges from the underlying arrest are dropped or dismissed.
Call Our Baltimore, MD Resisting Arrest Attorneys for Students at Loyola University
If you or a loved one was charged with resisting arrest while attending Loyola University, you may face substantial penalties and jail time. In addition, you may face academic disciplinary hearings and risk expulsion. Talk to a lawyer for help with your criminal case and help getting charges against you dropped or dismissed. For a free consultation on your case, call the Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291.