Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan (R&O): Can I Beat The Charges?

Resisting ArrestResisting and Obstructing in Michigan (R&O) Charges Are Easy to Catch and Tough to Beat. But Michigan Resisting and Obstructing Defense Lawyer Explains How the Law is On Your Side...

It is very common and easy (to say the least) for a citizen to find himself or herself facing a charge of Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan. Aside from being called Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan, this charge, set out in MCL 750.81d, is also sometimes called R&O, Resisting Arrest, Assault on a Police Officer, Resisting a Police Officer, and a host of other names. .

RELATED: Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan: What to do about the Preliminary Exam.

A Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan (R&O charge) exposes you to up to 2 years in Prison (and perhaps more depending on how many "Counts" you are charged with and whether you are charged with Resisting and Obstructing Habitual Offender, but your Resisting and Obstructing Sentence (if you plead or are found guilty) will actually be a matter of your felony Sentencing Guidelines. [click here for one of our articles about how this Resisting and Obstructing Sentencing in Michigan works.] Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan can have "consecutive sentencing at the Judge's discretion, which could be bad if you are charged with multiple "Counts."

Here is a typical scenario that we often see at The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC concerning Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan: everything is going fine until you have an unexpected encounter with the police. Maybe you were enjoying some drinks with friends when things got a little loud and the neighbors called the cops. Little did you know, you're on your way to a charge of Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan. Or, maybe you were pulled-over and asked to exit the vehicle for an unknown reason - sending your blood-pressure through the roof and you hesitated! Whatever the case may be, the cops are there and they're asking you questions, yelling, disrespecting you, making you feel like you don't have any rights, maybe even putting their hands on you and even attempting to arrest you . . . Suddenly, you're charged with Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan.

Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan, MCL 750.81d(1), reads as follows (in relevant part):

"750.81d Assaulting, battering, resisting, obstructing, opposing person performing duty; felony; penalty; other violations; consecutive terms; definitions. individual who assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes, or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his or her duties is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both. ..."

I know what you're thinking - and you're right; there are a LOT of different ways to be easily convicted of Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan (Assault on a Police Officer, etc.)! Count all seven (7) of them: assaulting, battering, wounding, resisting, obstructing, opposing, and endangering. Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan can be as simple as this: an officer unexpectedly puts his hands on you (maybe to pat you down). Not being used to this, your knee-jerk involuntary reaction is to tense-up and move slightly away from the Officer. Next thing you know, you're being handcuffed and told you're under arrest for Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan (R&O), Resisting Arrest, Resisting a Police Officer, etc.

I can't tell you how many times I've read the Police Report in a case where the person is being charged with Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan where the Police Officer alleges that all the guy or girl did was "tense-up" or "stiffen-up" when the cops put their hands on them. In other words, the Police and Prosecutors are claiming that you should be guilty of the felony (not misdemeanor -felony) crime of Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan just because your body behaved in the very way your involuntary survival impulses have instructed it to!

In other cases, innocent Michigan citizens have been accused of Resisting and Obstructing a Police Officer just for verbally expressing their feelings to the Officer - but even when the person is yelling, many such comments may still highly protected as political speech under the First Amendment. At The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC, we believe that these Resisting and Obstructing charges are unacceptable, and we know the right legal arguments to make to attack these Resisting and Obstructing charges. The point here is that while words like "Assault" and "Battery" are quite well defined in Michigan's Assault and Battery laws, other words like "obstruct" and "oppose" are not. You need an experienced Michigan Resisting and Obstructing attorney to guide you.

Just recently in 2012, in a case called People v. Moreno, the Michigan Supreme Court opened up a whole new line of defenses for dealing with ridiculous Resisting and Obstructing (R&O) charges. Also in recent times the U.S. Supreme Court has made rulings on issues like the First Amendment that, believe-it-or-not can actually help get you a NOT GUILTY! The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC is experienced and ready to put these and many other legal theories to work for you. There is just too much Resisting and Obstructing law to discuss here!

Don't get me wrong: if you walk-up and slap a Police Officer in the face, then the defenses to a charge of Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan that I've discussed here probably aren't going to work, and defending your Resisting and Obstructing (R&O) charge is going to take a different approach. But the reality is that most charges of Resisting and Obstructing in Michigan charges arise from much less aggravated circumstances.

Either way, with a maximum of up to 2 years in the State Prison, mammoth financial consequences including probation costs on top of fines, mandatory DNA sampling, and a permanent record that disqualifies you for a host of jobs (and it all gets worse if you cause an injury or death), you should do yourself the favor of calling The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC, your Michigan Resisting and Obstructing lawyer, for guidance. The initial sit-down consultation is absolutely free, and at a minimum, you'll leave with some powerful information. Or, if you want answers but don't feel like talking, use our 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.