When a person is involved in potentially criminal behavior where law enforcement officers are present, the interaction sometimes leads to assaultive conduct toward the police. Even a slight bump or nudge, when interacting with a peace officer, technically satisfies the elements of a prima facie case of resisting and obstructing. When this happens, the accused is often charged with the original crime, and the felony of “resisting and obstructing” is an additionally charged count included in the charging instrument.
This is a very serious crime and should be handled with care. Not all prosecutors or police officers are willing to simply drop this count in plea negotiations. In other cases, however, the count is added by the prosecutor to “stack the deck” for negotiating purposes. Each case is different, with some officers -perhaps knowing that the count is not entirely genuine- are willing to drop the count; with other officers -who may have been seriously injured in the confrontation- unwilling to drop the count, and ready and willing to testify against the accused.
If the officer is unwilling to drop a resisting and obstructing charge, the prosecutor usually will not drop the charge. Even if this count is not dropped, there may be a plea negotiation that will eventually result in a dismissal of the charges.
Because every case has different circumstances, it is important to explore your options with competent counsel. If you or a family member have been charged with the felony of resisting and obstructing, give our office a call to discuss your legal options.