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Charges For Resisting Arrest In Las Vegas

Charges For Resisting Arrest In Las Vegas, NV

When law enforcement decides that you must be detained and you disagree, it’s natural to want to resist. You might believe there are numerous valid reasons why the officers are acting unjustly, yet these reasons do not justify resisting their attempts to handcuff, transport, or process you into the system. The wisest course of action is to comply and seek justice in court. However, if you find yourself charged with resisting arrest due to a failure to follow this advice, the repercussions can be quite severe.

It’s important to speak with an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer who has handled cases involving resisting arrest. Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers is one of the premier criminal defense law firms in Las Vegas and can help you build your defense. Contact our office today for a consultation and learn more about how we can help.

Understanding Resisting Arrest Charges In Nevada (NRS 199.280)

NRS 199.280 is the statute in Nevada that outlaws resisting arrest and hindering police officers from performing their duties. If firearms or other dangerous weapons are involved, resisting arrest escalates to a felony, with the law imposing severe penalties. In cases where no dangerous weapons are used, the charge is downgraded to a misdemeanor, subject to up to 6 months in jail and fines reaching $1,000.00. Common defenses include arguing the absence of willfulness, justifiable self-defense, or the illegality of the arrest. The statute outlines that:

NRS 199.280 Resisting public officer. 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:

  1. Where a firearm is used in the course of such resistance, obstruction or delay, or the person intentionally removes, takes or attempts to remove or take a firearm from the person of, or the immediate presence of, the public officer in the course of such resistance, obstruction or delay, for a category C felony as provided in NRS 193.130.

  2. Where a dangerous weapon, other than a firearm, is used in the course of such resistance, obstruction or delay, or the person intentionally removes, takes or attempts to remove or take a weapon, other than a firearm, from the person of, or the immediate presence of, the public officer in the course of such resistance, obstruction or delay, for a category D felony as provided in NRS 193.130.

  3. Where no dangerous weapon is used in the course of such resistance, obstruction or delay, for a misdemeanor.

Penalties For Resisting Arrest Charges In Nevada

Resisting arrest in a non-violent manner—such as attempting to flee, resisting being handcuffed, or verbally challenging an officer—is classified as a misdemeanor. This crime can lead to a maximum of six months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, as per Nevada State Law.

However, if resistance involves using a dangerous weapon (firearms excluded), or trying to disarm the arresting officer of such a weapon, the offense is elevated to a Category D felony. The penalty for this includes one to four years in state prison, and may also include a fine of up to $5,000, according to Nevada State Law.

Engaging in resistance by using a firearm, or attempting to disarm the arresting officer of their firearm, categorizes the offense as a Category C felony. The sentence for this felony ranges from one to five years in state prison, with potential fines reaching $10,000.

Additionally, if during the arrest an individual physically assaults or exerts force against the arresting officer, they may be charged with Battery on a Peace/Police Officer, on top of resisting arrest charges. This offense is considered a Category B felony, carrying sentences from two to ten years in state prison and possible fines of up to $10,000.

Defense To Resisting Arrest Charges In Las Vegas

Four common defenses often utilized in challenging criminal charges of resisting peace officers, such as resisting arrest, include:

  • Lack of Willfulness in the Defendant’s Actions – A key element for charges under NRS 199.280 is the intentional nature of the defendant’s actions. Instances where the defendant’s reaction was a reflex, caused by a medical condition resulting in involuntary movement, or situations where the defendant was accidentally pushed into police, leading to a misunderstanding of resistance, all challenge intentionality. Without conclusive proof from the D.A. that the defendant deliberately resisted, there is no violation of Nevada law.
  • No Actual Resistance, Delay, or Obstruction – Officers may misinterpret a defendant’s lawful actions as antagonistic. Although responding rudely or with sarcasm to officers is ill-advised, such behavior does not cross the threshold of criminality.
  • Lawful Self-Defense – Individuals are entitled to defend themselves against excessive or unlawful police force. However, for self-defense to be considered legitimate, it must be reasonable and proportionate.
  • Illegal Arrest – Charges of resisting arrest should not stand if the arrest was not lawful. An arrest without probable cause or a valid warrant is considered illegal.

To contest charges of resisting arrest, criminal defense attorneys frequently rely on specific types of evidence, including surveillance videos, eyewitness testimonies, and medical records, tailored to the nuances of the case.

A Vigorous Defense Against Charges of Resisting Arrest

Allegations of resisting arrest warrant significant consideration, as a conviction may result in hefty fines, probation, and even imprisonment. Our legal team has successfully defended hundreds of clients, crafting strong defenses against charges of:

  • Obstructing a public officer
  • Fleeing from police
  • Physically resisting arrest
  • Refusing to comply with lawful orders

We carefully examine each element the prosecution must prove, file motions that expose weaknesses in their case, and leverage our skilled negotiation techniques to achieve results favorable to our clients. Our record of obtaining dismissals and acquittals in resisting arrest cases is unmatched. Contact our Las Vegas resisting arrest defense lawyer now to schedule a consultation and discuss the specifics of your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Be Deported For Resisting Arrest?

Resisting arrest or obstructing public officers with a deadly weapon is typically categorized as a crime of moral turpitude (CIMTs). When this weapon is a firearm, the crime becomes an aggravated felony, elevating its severity. Both CIMTs and aggravated felonies are considered deportable offenses under immigration and criminal law.

Non-citizens charged under NRS 199.280 are strongly encouraged to seek legal representation from a skilled attorney. Successfully reducing the charge to a lesser misdemeanor or achieving a case dismissal can greatly improve the likelihood of remaining in the U.S.

Can My Case Be Dismissed?

If the most severe charge you face is resisting arrest, engaging an experienced Las Vegas resisting arrest attorney could significantly increase the chances of negotiating a plea deal that might include the dismissal of charges. For instance, agreeing to participate in an impulse control class could potentially lead to your case being dismissed.

Should a plea deal prove unattainable, our legal team is prepared to vigorously defend you in court, aiming for a not-guilty verdict to clear you of any unfounded accusations of resisting arrest. Contact us today for a complimentary review of your case and let us explore how we can assist you.

When Is Resisting Arrest Considered A Misdemeanor?

If an arrest is made without the use of a dangerous weapon, it is classified as a misdemeanor in Nevada. The punishment for such an offense can include up to 6 months in county or city jail, a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both. However, if the statute in effect at the time the misdemeanor was committed specifies a different penalty, that penalty will apply.

Contact Our Las Vegas Resisting Arrest Defense Lawyer Now

Every charge of resisting arrest has two perspectives – that of the arresting officer and that of the citizen. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers will meticulously examine all aspects of your case to gain a deep understanding of your perspective. We will then present those details compellingly to both the prosecutor and the judge, aiming to secure the most favorable outcome for you. Reach out to Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers for a complimentary consultation and begin your journey toward justice today.

Last Modified: April 16, 2024
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