Resisting arrest is a crime that occurs when an officer tries to put a person into custody and that person does something to prevent that from happening. Not everything a person does would qualify as resisting because those accused of a crime have certain rights.
To understand what a person must do to comply, it is important to know the basics about arrests and what officers can and cannot do.
Warrants not always required
In many cases, an officer will need to have a warrant to place someone under arrest. This is true unless the crime is currently occurring. During the crime, an arrest is valid without a warrant because it is part of protecting the public from continuing criminal activity.
Officers can ask any questions they wish of someone who is in custody. It is the responsibility of the person under arrest to assert their right to remain silent. Officers cannot compel a person to speak when they evoke their right.
During the arrest, an officer has the right to search the person. This is for the safety of both the officers and the person under arrest. However, officers can only search the immediate area in which a person is. Officers cannot conduct searches of homes or other property without a warrant.
Individuals should never fight an officer or attempt to stop an officer from doing anything, even if it is a rights violation. The best way to handle injustices occurring during an arrest is through the court system.