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Thread: Lawfully Resisting Arrest!

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    Regular Member Tanner's Avatar
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    Lawfully Resisting Arrest!

    This kinda scares me. To think that I may be put in a position where a LEO is going to arrest me with no RAS is also unbeliveable. However it seem to happen often enough to make me raise my eyebrow. Sorry about the game of what if but ill keep it to a low detail kind of scenerio.

    LEO: Whats that on your side?
    OCer: Im sorry?
    LEO: (draws weapon) put you hands up!

    LEO claps OCer in irons takes OCers gun YADA YADA

    Obviously LEO doest not know the law of the land and if ignorance of the law is not an excuse for us I cant imagine it is an excuse for them.

    In your (anyone who cares to reply) opinion at what point yould the OCer be justified in resisting the arrest? If this is even in fact an unlawfull arrest. (seems obvioust that it is but I could be wrong)

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    What I have learned from this site...

    Dont fight the law on the street... fight it in court.

    Tell him over and over that you do not consent, get a lawyer, fight it in court, you will most likely win, profit.

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    Regular Member Tanner's Avatar
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    I guess I should have stressed the opinion part. I agree with you guys. Why resist arrest when you can to more damage in court. I just found it interesting that since laws dot usually tell us what we can do that this one acctually does and its a biggie if you ask me.

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    if you are talking about physically resisting..... bad idea. You will never win that one. Not on the street, or likely in court. Your best alternative is to have enough evidence (audio or video recording, witnesses, and a good lawyer...) to win in court and pursue the issue through complaints, and the legal process.

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    Regular Member Tanner's Avatar
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    Resisting in general. Just walking away, runing, pulling away, saying no......You know........resisting. It dosent always have to be physical

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    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    In theory, the law of Virginia holds that one may use whatever force is reasonably necessary, up to and including deadly force, to resist an unlawful arrest. However, you've got to be right, which means you've got to know the law really well, and be able to apply it correctly in a stressful situation. Moreover, the Sup. Ct. of Virginia has begun using the word, "detain", in situations involve what is really an arrest, on the theory that there is no law that permits resistance to an unlawful "detention".

    Unless you have reason to believe they're going to take you to a deserted area and leave you dead in a ditch and the arrest is a pretext to murder, then follow the practical advice stated above. Besides, it'll be a lot more satisfying to sell the guy's house in front of the courthouse steps in order to pay the false arrest / false imprisonment judgment.
    Last edited by user; 06-15-2012 at 09:37 PM.
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    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanner View Post

    Obviously LEO doest not know the law of the land and if ignorance of the law is not an excuse for us I cant imagine it is an excuse for them.

    In your (anyone who cares to reply) opinion at what point yould the OCer be justified in resisting the arrest? If this is even in fact an unlawfull arrest. (seems obvioust that it is but I could be wrong)
    Actually, for the LEO it IS an excuse for them. It's called qualified immunity.

    We get in trouble with the law and it is our own responsibility to know all the thousands of laws by heart so as to not run afoul of them. For them, if they prove in court that they thought they were enforcing the law they are excused for not actually knowing the law. LEO are not expected to know the law by the courts, only to enforce what the LEO believes is the law.

    Aren't double standards so nice?



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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanner View Post
    I guess I should have stressed the opinion part. I agree with you guys. Why resist arrest when you can to more damage in court. I just found it interesting that since laws dot usually tell us what we can do that this one acctually does and its a biggie if you ask me.
    Actually the law is pretty clear Tanner. You have a legal right to resist an unlawful arrest.

    Now back to where the sky is blue. They aren't going to wrestle with someone that will probably win. They're going to shoot you and probably get away with it because assaulting a police officer is a felony, he'll claim you were going for his gun and dead resistors don't get to testify.

    The odds are on their side. Even if he doesn't shoot you, he'll call it in and in minutes every cop on that side of town will be there.

    The courts almost always give the Officer's story greater weight. I've actually heard Judges say after being presented a perfect self defense case, "Yes but I'm concerned with Officer Safety".

    Some fights are just not worth it....yet anyway.

    Now for a little more BLUE SKY. The situation you described doesn't happen often or at least to that degree. It's mostly a mental tug of war.

    Recorders and video go a long way toward keeping things polite. I've heard cops, even ones that claim to not like the system that, recording and videoing to get the cop in trouble is why they hate us.

    Prepare for the mental resistance, not the physical one.

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    Regular Member richarcm's Avatar
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    Physically resist? No. Of course not. Mentally resisting through peaceful and respectful use of knowledge of law, rights and silence....ALWAYS!!! Knowing when you are actually being arrested and when they are just trying to intimidate you in order to manufacture reason for arrest is very important.

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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanner View Post
    Resisting in general. Just walking away, runing, pulling away, saying no......You know........resisting. It dosent always have to be physical
    I had thought of something to do when I don't mind taking a trip downtown in the back of a squad car and don't have exigent responsibility like family to take care of...

    Me: Am I being detained, officer?

    Officer: No...

    Me:GOOD! (takes of running down the street)

    After I get tackled-

    Officer: Why did you run!!!??

    Me: Because you were chasing me! I mean... Wouldn't YOU run if some scary intimidating man was chasing you with a gun?

    I don't have the cite available, but a court case had a cop chase some guys down and arrest them, but the only RAS at the time he had was that they ran from cops. It was decided that running from cops alone is not RAS.



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    Regular Member BillB's Avatar
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    That old one-liner that says; "You may beat the rap, but you won't beat the ride" has more than a little basis of truth to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richarcm View Post
    Physically resist? No. Of course not. Mentally resisting through peaceful and respectful use of knowledge of law, rights and silence....ALWAYS!!! Knowing when you are actually being arrested and when they are just trying to intimidate you in order to manufacture reason for arrest is very important.
    Richarcm (Chris) was with me in 2007 when a Henrico officer unlawfully detained me at a CVS in Short Pump. I calmly repeated over and over "open carry is legal in Virginia" and otherwise followed his instructions (I was put over the hood of his patrol car, my gun was seized, he threatened me after his seargent ordered him to return my gun, and 6 other patrol cars showed up because he radioed in "man with a gun"). Ultimately, the officer was disciplined, Col. Stanley wrote me a letter of apology, Internal Affairs sent me a letter confirming he was disciplined for "misconduct" and the Commonwealths Attorney investigated his misbehavior. I didn't have an audio recorder with me at the time, but I did have two witnesses who were both interviewed by IA (richarcm was one of them). The officer didn't even know what a chp is! My understanding was that the officer was young, misinformed but he did ell the truth throughout the various investigations of his misconduct, so I won even without having an audio recording.

    Generally speaking, stay clam, follow the officers instructions, know the law, and immediately follow-up respectfully (and ferociously - I even got the FBI to open a (brief) investigation). As long as the department itself is professional, you will win if you are in the right. Legally speaking, could I have resisted some of the officers inane commands? Probably. Would I have won in quite the same way? Probably not.

    To this day, I am most concerned that a VERY high ranking Henrico County police department official lied to Phil Van Cleave on the phone - claiming someone had called in a report of a man with a gun. I submitted four FOIA requests within 24 hours of being unlawfully seized, and it turned out this very high ranking official lied through his teeth. That still bothers me more than the officer simply not knowing how to proceed correctly. The officer, after all, told the truth when questioned. The #2 official in the Henrico PD lied.

  13. #13
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    In theory, the law of Virginia holds that one may use whatever force is reasonably necessary, up to and including deadly force, to resist an unlawful arrest. However, you've got to be right, which means you've got to know the law really well, and be able to apply it correctly in a stressful situation. Moreover, the Sup. Ct. of Virginia has begun using the word, "detain", in situations involve what is really an arrest, on the theory that there is no law that permits resistance to an unlawful "detention".

    Unless you have reason to believe they're going to take you to a deserted area and leave you dead in a ditch and the arrest is a pretext to murder, then follow the practical advice stated above. Besides, it'll be a lot more satisfying to sell the guy's house in front of the courthouse steps in order to pay the false arrest / false imprisonment judgment.
    I was going to bring this up with reference to a specific case in Meridian, Mississippi in 1964. There have been situations where resisting with deadly force may be your only option. Thankfully, those are rare.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 06-16-2012 at 07:56 AM.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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    My understanding is that you should make it very clear to the officers that you do not consent to a seizure or search of yourself or your property, BUT, you will not resist if they do so.

    Let them do it. You declined consent, and you can have your day in court and they will certainly be required to explain their RAS (or lack of).

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