Resisting and Obstructing Sentence - Will I Get Jail or Prison?

Resisting and Obstructing Sentence in Michigan Can Include Jail or Prison. Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian J. Prain Explains How Possible Sentences Are Calculated.

Those who have been charged with Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan want to know "What is the usual Resisting and Obstructing Sentence? Will I go to Jail or Prison?" Well, before you think about Sentencing, what about being found NOT GUILTY instead? At any rate, if you've been accused, whether you plead or fight the charges at Trial, you need to know the Resisting and Obstructing Sentence possibilities...

FIRST OFF, I want to be clear that you will only be Sentenced if there is a finding of guilt. The best way to stay out of Jail or Prison is to have no Resisting and Obstructing Sentence at all! The crime of Resisting and Obstructing, also called R and O or R&O in Michigan, is set forth in MCL 750.81d(1), and it actually covers much more than just "resisting" and "obstructing." It includes: assault on a Police Officer, battery, wounding, opposing and endangering. "Resisting and Obstructing" is a generic term in Michigan for all of those things together. One "Resisting and Obstructing" case may involve an allegation of actual hitting a cop, while another may be simply based on allegedly giving physical resistance while being handcuffed. There is a lot of confusion over this.

The Resisting and Obstructing Sentence is "imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both," assuming that you are not charged as an Habitual Offender. However, your Sentence will depend on your Sentencing Guidelines - the Judge does not have total discretion to Sentence you at her will up to the 2 years. Actually, felony Sentencing in Michigan is "indeterminate."

Sentencing Guidelines are a process whereby a felony sentence is calculated based how many total "points" you rack up. There are 7 "Prior Record Variables," ("PRVs") where you receive points for prior Felonies, Misdemeanors, Juvenile Offenses, and whether the alleged Resisting and Obstructing was committed while you were on Probation or Parole, etc. There are 20 "Offense Variables" ("OVs") where you rack-up points based on the specific facts of the alleged Resisting and Obstructing itself (for example "degree of physical injury to a victim."

The total PRV and total OV points are added up and placed on a grid, which arrive at the actual Michigan Resisting and Obstructing Sentence, which is a range of months, such as "0 to 6 months" incarceration, or "2 to 17 months" incarceration. If the higher number is 12 or lower, you face up to that many months in County Jail, at the Judge's discretion. If the higher number is greater than 12, your Resisting and Obstructing Sentence could include Prison time up to 2 years at the discretion of the Parole Board, rather than the Judge.

It's far more complicated, and proper calculation can have a BIG impact on your potential Resisting and Obstructing Sentence. Yet most criminal defense attorneys never even calculate their own client's Guidelines - they just leave it up to the Prosecution to get it right! But at Prain Law, PLLC, we calculate our clients' Sentencing Guidelines at the outset.

Here are a few other aspects of the Sentence for Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan:

  • If you are charged as an Habitual Offender, your maximum Resisting and Obstructing Sentence increases dramatically
  • If your charge is based on allegations of actual Assault on a Police Officer, and you are charged with more than one "count" (i.e. there were multiple Officers there), you can receive a separate sentence for each Officer that is "consecutive," meaning the Judge can actually exceed your Guidelines for your Resisting and Obstructing Sentence.
  • At a Resisting and Obstructing Sentence, the crime "victim" are the Police Officers. Under Michigan's William Van Regenmorter Crime Victim Rights Act, they are allowed to appear at your Sentence and make statements that could dramatically change your Sentence for better or worse.
  • If you allegedly caused death or injury to a Police Officer, it's a whole different ballgame with much higher maximums.
  • A Judge can exceed your Guidelines if they meet the legal standard of "Substantial and Compelling Reasons" for doing so.

Still reading? You need a knowledgeable Resisting and Obstructing Lawyer, because making the right choice can save your freedom and future. Call Prain Law, PLLC​anytime at (248) 731-4543. Don't wait - the faster you act, the better your chances! You can also fill-out the Contact Form


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Prain Law, PLLC is focused only on the types charges featured on our website. This helps us deliver the decisive, effective advocacy for which our clients know us. We only serve individuals currently under investigation or who have a current case pending in court. Our firm does not represent injury victims, defendants who have already taken a plea or have been sentenced, or those seeking to expunge a criminal record. We do not respond to anyone who is not involved in a pending investigation or who has a court case for a type of charge we do not handle, but we wish you the very best of luck.