Friday, April 24, 2015

Consequences of Resisting Arrest in Nevada

A person who, in any case or under any circumstances not otherwise specially provided for, willfully resists, delays or obstructs a public officer in discharging or attempting to discharge any legal duty of his or her office shall be punished.”
Resisting an arrest by a public officer is a serious crime in the state of Nevada. Under Nevada law, NRS 199.280, it is a crime to resist an arrest or any other legal duty by a public officer. Resisting arrest normally constitutes a misdemeanor. However, when a dangerous weapon is used by the suspect to assist him or her in resisting, the categorization of the criminal activity increases. Resistance to an arrest becomes a class C felony when a firearm is used and a class D felony when any other dangerous weapon is used and thus the penalties of resisting arrest are heightened.
Conduct that may constitute resisting arrest by a public officer includes:
  • Fleeing or attempting to flee from the situation
  • Using physical force against the officer
  • Verbally stating the intent to refuse arrest
  • Trying to take the officer’s weapons

Penalties for resisting arrest

Under Nevada law, anyone that resists an arrest by a public officer is guilty of a misdemeanor. Penalties for resisting an arrest as a misdemeanor include:
  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Both jail time and fines
  • Community service
When a firearm is used in the course of resisting arrest, the suspect is guilty of a category C felony. Penalties for a category C felony include:
  • A minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 5 years in state prison
  • Fines up to $10,000
When any other dangerous weapon is used in the course of resisting arrest, the suspect is guilty of a category D felony. Penalties for a category D felony include:
  • A minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 4 years in state prison
  • Fines up to $5,000

Defenses to resisting arrest

According to NRS 193.230, resistance to an arrest by a public officer may be lawful under certain circumstances, such as to prevent an injury. Such resistance may be made by:
  • The party about to be injured
  • Bystander parties
Resistance may be lawful if made by the party about to be injured in order to prevent:
  • An offense against himself or herself or a family member
  • An illegal attempt, by force, to take or damage property in his or her lawful possession
Resistance may also be lawful if made by other people to:
  • Assist or defend the person about to be injured in the course of the arrest
The force of the resistance used must be proportional to prevent the offense caused during the course of the arrest.

How to protect yourself if you are accused of resisting arrest

If you are accused of resisting an arrest by a public officer, it is important that you have a strong criminal defense. Contact our qualified legal team at the De Castroverde Law Group to discuss your case and your legal options as soon as possible.