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Las Vegas Criminal Defense

Resisting Arrest in Nevada


When the police determine that you need to go to jail and you don’t agree, your first instinct may be to resist their efforts. There may be 100 good reasons you think the cops are out of line, but none of them give you the right to fight back against officers who are trying to cuff, transport, or book you into jail.  Your best bet is to cooperate and get your comeuppance in court. But if it didn’t play out that way and you’re facing charges of resisting arrest, the consequences may not be very pleasant.

What Does Resisting Arrest Look Like?

Every situation is different, so drawing a picture of resisting arrest is a little bit complicated.  One recent incident in Carson City demonstrates how seemingly non-violent activity could result in charges.

When police responded to a domestic violence call, they found a suspect who was argumentative and displayed agitation.  He engaged in subtle arm movements and stood uncomfortably close to an officer.  At one point he jabbed at an officer’s badge, and that was  the last straw.  The suspect wound up on the ground and cuffed.  While the domestic battery was deemed to have not occurred, resisting arrest was still charged.

NRS 199.280  

Under Nevada law, willful resistance of an officer who is discharging their legal duties is a crime. The penalties depend in large part on just how aggressive a suspect is in their resistance:

  • Simply struggling or otherwise resisting without the use of a weapon could land one behind bars for as much as six months, on top of a $1,000 fine.
  • Using any dangerous weapon, like a knife or bat, for example, bumps up the consequence to four years in prison and a fine of $5,000.
  • Using a firearm in one’s resistance could result in five years of prison time, along with $10,000 in fines.

If an Officer is Injured During Resistance 

In the event a person’s resistance results in injuries to a police officer, battery charges may be added to charges of resisting arrest.  That can increase penalties significantly:

  • If no weapon was involved and an officer is injured in the scuffle, the fine jumps to $2,000 and jail time increases to 364 days.
  • If there was no weapon but an attempt to strangle or otherwise inflict bodily harm occurs, or, alternatively, if a deadly weapon was used, it could mean 10 years in state prison and $10,000 in fines.
  • If an officer suffers substantial harm and a deadly weapon is involved, the penalties increase to 15 years behind bars and $10.000 in fines.

Defending You 

At Lobo Law, our experienced Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys always fight for the best possible outcomes for our clients.  To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.

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