Resisting & Obstructing Lawyers
Resisting or obstructing a police officer, depending on the circumstances, can constitute either a misdemeanor or a felony The charge of resisting may involve a defendant who refuses to quickly and peacefully be taken into custody pursuant to arrest. It may also include a wide variety of other circumstances, including a defendant that flees or escapes from a police officer.
Obstructing an officer is usually charged under this same section, although it may also be charged as a felony when it is alleged that that the defendant obstructed justice. Obstruction charges may similarly encompass a wide variety of scenarios. Most typically, a defendant is alleged to have obstructed a police officer when a false name is given, when intentionally misleading information is given, when a defendant interferes in the arrest of another or when the defendant refuses to leave the area after being given notice to depart.
Illinois law requires mandatory minimum sentencing provisions for people convicted of resisting or obstructing a police officer. Furthermore, supervision may not be available as a sentencing option. Especially in such circumstances, an experienced defense attorney is vital to securing a fair disposition of the case. State’s Attorney offices and police departments vigorously prosecute resisting and obstruction cases specifically because those cases involve police officers as victims. A person charged with resisting or obstructing a police officer should immediately consult the advice of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
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Resisting or obstructing a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee is defined in Section 720 ILCS 5/31‑1:
(a) A person who knowingly resists or obstructs the performance by one known to the person to be a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee of any authorized act within his official capacity commits a Class A misdemeanor.
(a‑5) In addition to any other sentence that may be imposed, a court shall order any person convicted of resisting or obstructing a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee to be sentenced to a minimum of 48 consecutive hours of imprisonment or ordered to perform community service for not less than 100 hours as may be determined by the court. The person shall not be eligible for probation in order to reduce the sentence of imprisonment or community service.
(a‑7) A person convicted for a violation of this Section whose violation was the proximate cause of an injury to a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee is guilty of a Class 4 felony.
(b) For purposes of this Section, "correctional institution employee" means any person employed to supervise and control inmates incarcerated in a penitentiary, State farm, reformatory, prison, jail, house of correction, police detention area, half‑way house, or other institution or place for the incarceration or custody of persons under sentence for offenses or awaiting trial or sentence for offenses, under arrest for an offense, a violation of probation, a violation of parole, or a violation of mandatory supervised release, or awaiting a bail setting hearing or preliminary hearing, or who are sexually dangerous persons or who are sexually violent persons; and "firefighter" means any individual, either as an employee or volunteer, of a regularly constituted fire department of a municipality or fire protection district who performs fire fighting duties, including, but not limited to, the fire chief, assistant fire chief, captain, engineer, driver, ladder person, hose person, pipe person, and any other member of a regularly constituted fire department. "Firefighter" also means a person employed by the Office of the State Fire Marshal to conduct arson investigations.
(c) It is an affirmative defense to a violation of this Section if a person resists or obstructs the performance of one known by the person to be a firefighter by returning to or remaining in a dwelling, residence, building, or other structure to rescue or to attempt to rescue any person.