Is It Against The Law For A Person To Resist Arrest?

Is It Against The Law For A Person To Resist Arrest?

Is It Against The Law For A Person To Resist Arrest in NSW

The police may validly place a person under arrest if they reasonably suspect the person has committed an offence. Depending on the actions an individual undertakes, it may be construed as resisting police, which is a criminal offence. There are a number of aspects of resisting police which this piece will cover, along with some of the basic rights a person possesses if they have been arrested.

Resisting arrest

Broadly speaking, it is an offence for a person to resist, hinder, or incite anyone to assault, resist or hinder a police officer in the execution of their duty if they are making a lawful arrest. Even if the person was innocent, yet, have resisted an arrest, an offence of resisting police may have been committed. In such a situation, a person may potentially face charges of resisting arrest, even if no other charges are laid against the person.

When does the law consider a person to be resisting arrest?

If a person is resisting an arrest, it must be an active action. Therefore, if a person is lying on the ground and not cooperating, or running away before a valid arrest has been executed, these actions may not be considered to be actions of resisting arrest. Although with that being said, running away can be seen as consciousness of guilt, and can potentially be used against a person if a matter goes before the courts.

Bail Applications in NSW

What rights does a person possess if they have been placed under arrest?

Any person who has been placed under arrest by the police must have their rights explained to them and in the event that this has not occurred, the person should request an explanation of their rights.

If a person is being questioned in relation to an offence or they have been formally arrested and placed before a custody officer, the person generally has the following fundamental rights:

  • to be treated as innocent until proven guilty by the courts;
  • to remain silent, except for certain offences, and for the police to respect their right to silence, and not to answer any questions or make statements;
  • to make a complaint if the police have denied any rights or have not explained what rights are available to a person in custody.

It’s always a good idea for a person who is in police custody to talk to their lawyer.

What if the person believes that the arrest is unlawful?

If a person believes that the action of arrest is unlawful, they should object to the arrest as much as possible and ideally, the objection should also be made in front of independent witnesses.

If you have reason to believe that you may be charged with an offence related to resisting arrest, hindering a police officer in exercising their duty or inciting someone else to resist arrest, hinder or assault a police officer, or you have already been charged, contact one of our criminal lawyers. Based in Sydney, our legal team will protect your reputation and work to clear your name. We can provide expert advice to ensure that the matter is dealt with quickly and thoroughly. Call us today 02 9261-8640