Resisting Arrest versus Evading Arrest: What’s the Difference, and Which Is More Serious?

Resisting Arrest versus Evading ArrestResisting arrest and evading arrest are two different criminal charges, although the two often come in conjunction with one another (though not always).

Resisting Arrest

In general, resisting arrest occurs when a defendant attempts to interfere with the police officer’s duty. Depending on the facts of each case, resisting arrest can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Usually, felony resisting arrest charges are reserved for defendants who take violent action against an arresting officer. Naturally, felony resisting arrest can result in elevated charges and penalties. Some examples of resisting arrest include:

  • Preventing a cop from handcuffing you
  • Struggling against an officer who is trying to arrest you
  • Refusing to provide identification to police
  • Engaging in violent action against the officer, like punching, kicking or inflicting harm with a weapon

Evading Arrest

Evading arrest usually means running away from a police officer. Whether on foot or by car, you can be charged with evading arrest if you flee. Just because you flee from police does not mean that you will be charged and convicted for evading arrest. This charge is more specific, requiring the prosecution to prove that you intentionally or knowingly fled the police in order to avoid being arrested.

Fleeing on foot is a Class B misdemeanor. As for fleeing in a vehicle, it’s a state jail felony. If you flee in a vehicle and this is not the first time you have run from police, it’s a third-degree felony. If you end up killing someone during the attempt to evade, it is a second-degree felony.


One Response to Resisting Arrest versus Evading Arrest: What’s the Difference, and Which Is More Serious?

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