Resisting, Obstructing, Assaulting, Endangering Police
In Michigan, resisting, obstructing, assaulting or endangering an officer in the performance of his or her duties is a felony. In addition to facing prison, there are various legal and personal ramifications when a person is convicted of a felony. Pursuant to state and federal laws, a person convicted of a felony cannot possess a firearm. The legal terms (resisting, obstructing, assaulting, endangering) are construed broadly.
“Obstruct” includes the use or threatened use of physical interference or force or a knowing failure to comply with a lawful command.
This is a powerful statute, whereby borderline misconduct (such as slight resistance, failure to obey a lawful command or inappropriate physical contact with a police officer) can constitute a felony! Even conduct by an individual that is believed to be within lawful boundaries may be misinterpreted by an oversensitive law enforcement officer as “obstructive”.Penalties for Resisting, Obstructing, Assaulting, Endangering a Police Officer
The penalties in Michigan (MCL 750.479) for resisting, obstructing, assaulting or endangering an officer in the performance of duties are:
|Resisting and Obstructing||Maximum Penalties in Michigan|
|Resulting in death||20 years and/or $20,000 fine|
|Resulting in serious injury||10 years and/or $10,000 fine|
|Resulting in medical attention||4 years and/or $5,000 fine|
|No injury or medical attention||2 years and/or $2,000 fine|
Encounters with the police are inevitable. In fact, I would say that police encounters are more probable after 9-11-2001. A police encounter can occur in situations where you have not done anything wrong. For example, a person may fit the description of someone that is accused of a crime or because a neighbor has reported something to the police. When a police confrontation occurs, even if it is unfounded, it is far better to cooperate than to get charged with a felony for resisting and obstructing. By cooperating, I do not mean that you should make incriminating statements or allow a search without a warrant. First of all, everyone should know their personal rights. In addition, ABDO LAW recommends having a plan prior to a police confrontation:
- Aside from providing identification, you have an absolute right to remain silent and anything that you say can be used against you in court.
- It is always preferred to consult with a lawyer before talking to the police. However, if you believe it is in your best interest to talk to the police to show your innocence or establish a defense, you should use a calm and composed voice to logically point out details or witnesses at the scene.
- It is rarely productive to argue or try to persuade the police. Any misunderstandings or problems that you believe occurred during a police confrontation can later be addressed in the court system with a criminal defense lawyer.
- Follow the officer’s instructions, ask permission to make any bodily movements and keep your hands where the officer can see them.
- Michigan CPL disclosure: An individual licensed carry a concealed pistol who is stopped by a peace officer shall immediately disclose to the peace officer that he or she is carrying a pistol concealed upon his or her person or in his or her vehicle.
- Remain calm and do not escalate the situation.
- Do not touch the officer as this could be interpreted as an assault.
- You can be charged with fleeing and eluding if you attempt to escape, run or drive away from a police situation.
- Recording: Provided that it does not interfere with police operations, you do have the right to record an interaction with the police. However, the recording may be seized if the officer believes it contains evidence that must be protected.
- Do not resist or obstruct the process if you are arrested. An attorney can be employed forthwith to set the record straight.
Retaining a criminal defense lawyer should be first priority if you are an adult or juvenile accused of any misdemeanor or felony. Fortunately, legal entanglements are often manageable. Being charged with a felony does not necessarily mean that you will go to jail or be convicted of a felony. In our experience, most first time offenders, including those with a limited past record, may be entitled to a plea bargain to a misdemeanor with probation, not jail. Youthful offenders (age 18 but before age 26) may be entitled to HYTA status to get a dismissal and the record sealed.
ABDO LAW, established in Macomb County in 1980, provides unrivaled legal services to those that seek highly rated criminal defense lawyers. We believe that every client has a unique situation and deserves to be treated with respect and dedication to achieve the best possible result in the Michigan court system. In our 35 years of practicing criminal law, we have amassed 1,000’s of legal victories in every type of criminal matter.
It takes only one phone call to get immediate answers to your most pressing legal questions. Call ABDO LAW for personal and confidential advice from attorneys that have achieved AVVO’s highest rating of Superb and Martindale Hubbell’s Preeminent rating for legal ability and ethical standards by members of the bar and judiciary.