Resisting Arrest in Colorado – C.R.S. 18-8-103

We all have an idea of what “Resisting Arrest” might look like – someone running down the street with red and blue lights coming up the street.

In Colorado, “Resisting Arrest” is a common yet complex criminal charge. It is a class 2 misdemeanor and in Colorado that is punishable by up to 18 months of imprisonment and/or $5,000 in fines.

According to the statute, or law, someone can be convicted of this offense if they:

“knowingly prevent or attempt to prevent a peace officer, acting under color of his official authority, from effecting an arrest of the actor or another, by:

  • Using or threatening to use physical force or violence against the peace officer or another
  • Or
  • Using any other means which creates a substantial risk of causing bodily injury to the peace officer or another.”

A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, like those at the Law Office of Jacob E. Martinez, know how to pick apart this statute so that it is easier to understand. By being able to pick apart the statute, or identify and address the different ‘elements’ of the crime, we are able to determine which defenses might be applicable in your case.

First, in order to be convicted, it must be shown that you “knowingly” prevented or attempted to prevent the arrest. A person acts knowingly if he is practically certain that his conduct will result in certain consequences. It may be the case that you didn’t have the mens rea or ‘required mind state’ for this offense.

Further, the officer must be “acting under color of his official authority.” A peace officer acts “under color of his official authority” when, in the regular course of assigned duties, he is called upon to make, and does make, a judgment in good faith based upon the surrounding facts and circumstances that an arrest should be made by him.”

The statute requires one of the following – 1) that the person use, or threaten physical force against the officer or another; and 2) using “any other means which creates a substantial risk of causing” injury to the officer or another.

Making this charge even more challenging is the fact that the statute limits someone’s ability to use, as a defense, the argument that their arrest was unlawful.

This can be a serious offense, especially because it is often paired with other charges – the charges that may have given rise to the initial interaction with the police. Further, if in the course of resisting arrest, you are also alleged to have assaulted the officer, then you are looking at a felony.

Having an attorney who is familiar with the different elements that must be proven for a prosecutor to make their case can make all the difference in your case. The attorneys at the Law Office of Jacob E. Martinez understand this charge and the defenses that may be applicable. Contact the Law Office of Jacob E. Martinez today in order to set up a free consultation.