Resisting Arrest

Resisting arrest is a crime under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268 Section 32B. There are four elements that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt before a person can be convicted of resisting arrest:

  1. The defendant either prevented or tried to prevent a police officer from arresting him or another.

  2. At that time, the police officer was acting under the color of his or her official authority. Acting “under the color of official authority” means acting in the normal course of duties and making a good faith judgment, based on the circumstances, that a person should be arrested.

  3. The defendant resisted by using or threatening to use violence or by using some means that created a substantial risk of bodily injury to the officer or some other person.

  4. The defendant acted knowingly, knew that the person was a police officer, and knew that the police officer was trying to arrest him. A “police officer,” for the purposes of this law, means a uniformed police officer or an officer in plain clothes who has identified himself by showing his credentials, such as a badge, radio or other piece of police equipment, insignia, or identification card.

One cannot be convicted of this crime if the resistance occurred after completion of the arrest. An arrest become complete when one is in custody, detained, and under the control of the police.


Resisting arrest is punishable by up to 2 ½ years in a jail or house of correction or by a fine of up to $500, or both the jail time and the fine.

Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer

Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. is a prominent Boston defense attorney with more than 30 years of experience. Attorney Wheeler is serious when it comes to putting up an aggressive and solid defense, and he uses the knowledge that he has gained over decades to get outstanding results for his clients. If you have been accused of resisting arrest in Massachusetts, contact Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. today.

Law Office Of Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. (617) 973 5858

The Law Office of Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. is conveniently located in downtown Boston, but Attorney Wheeler represents the criminally accused in courts all throughout Massachusetts. If you would like to consult with him about a resisting arrest charge or any other criminal matter, feel free to call him at (617) 973 5858 or send him an e-mail.