Charges based on the ground of resisting arrest are unlike any other in Illinois. When it comes down to it, it often turns into your word against the police officer’s, and a court is often much more inclined to trust the officer’s account. The nature of such an offense can be complicated, heightening your need for a DuPage County criminal defense attorney.

Our firm has had an active role in more than 10,000 cases and is honored to defend our clients. At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., we are committed to protecting the rights of people who have been accused of resisting arrest and do everything we can to resolve each case we take as favorably as possible. To schedule a free consultation with a DuPage County criminal defense lawyer, call us today at (630) 474-8000.


Any act of affirmative violence against law enforcement during an arrest is considered resisting arrest. However, the criteria encompasses much more than that.

An individual might face charges if they:

  • Refuse to put their hands behind their back
  • Flee from the arresting officer
  • Aggressively pull away in the midst of the arrest
  • Make any movements or actions against officer’s orders

As evidenced by the above criteria, an act of resisting arrest must be physical. Any verbal act is not grounds for being charged with this offense. It is also important to note that this offense is still illegal even if they arrest being made is unlawful.

If convicted, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor or a Class C felony. The latter conviction can require up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. For a felony conviction, you may face up to three years in jail and fines of up to $25,000.

Resisting arrest charges are unique in that there is no alternative sentencing offered. This means that if you are found guilty, the minimum sentence is a conviction, your record is permanent, and expungement is not an option. There is nothing more important than finding an experienced attorney who will fight to secure the outcome you need.

A Resisting Arrest Conviction Can Result in Serious Collateral Consequences

While a misdemeanor resisting arrest charge has the potential to result in one year in jail, in most cases, prosecutors do not pursue the maximum penalty. As a result, many defendants who have been accused of resisting arrest feel like a relatively small fine, and perhaps a weekend in jail, is “no big deal.” They choose to represent themselves rather than retain an attorney to represent them. This is invariably a bad idea, as you should do everything you can to avoid a conviction on your record.

It is important to understand that the consequences of a conviction can go far beyond any penalties imposed by the judge!

A conviction can result in significant collateral consequences, which could have a negative impact on your life long after your court-imposed sentence has come to a conclusion. Some of the potential collateral consequences of a conviction for resisting arrest in Illinois include the following:

  • Educational consequences—Many schools have student codes of conduct that prohibit students from engaging in any sort of illegal activity. A conviction for resisting arrest, therefore, could result in your current school imposing certain sanctions, including probation, revocation of a scholarship or financial aid package, suspension, or even dismissal from your program. Additionally, many colleges and universities inquire about an applicant’s criminal history and use it as a factor when making admission determinations. As such, a resisting arrest conviction could have an impact on your future educational opportunities—which in turn could profoundly impact your entire future.
  • Job loss—Because Illinois is an at-will employment state, employers can fire employees for any reason (except for certain reasons that are prohibited by law). As a result, if you are even accused of resisting arrest, your employer may very well terminate your employment relationship. If you have an attorney advocating on your behalf, however, it may be sufficient for your employer to give you another chance.
  • Difficulty getting a job in the future—According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), 97 percent of employers conduct a County/Statewide criminal background check on some of their job candidates. If your background check returns a conviction for resisting arrest, it will likely raise questions in the employer’s mind about your desirability as an employee and may make it much more difficult for you to get a job.
  • Damage to your reputation in the community—A criminal conviction is a matter of public record in Illinois. This means that anyone with enough interest in your background and an internet connection could likely find out about your criminal conviction in a matter of minutes—and this type of information tends to spread quickly. For this reason, a conviction could significantly affect your reputation within your community and may make people less likely to associate with you socially or professionally.

 Martin & Kent, L.L.C., consists of talented criminal defense attorneys who may be able to protect you from all of that. Contact our office today to find out more at (630) 474-8000!