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Missouri Resisting Arrest Laws

When you hear the term "resisting arrest," you might envision someone pulling away from the police during an arrest or doing something violent to an officer like shoving them. This is true in some cases, but resisting arrest offenses cover a wide range of interference and can even include resistance which doesn't involve any physical contact with the arresting officer.

For instance, in Missouri you can be charged with resisting arrest by running away when the officer has detained you and orders you to stop. If you've been stopped by law enforcement while driving, it's considered fleeing if you don't stop and you ignore a siren or flashing lights indicating that you're supposed to pull over.

Missouri Resisting Arrest Laws Overview

If you have questions about what a statute means, you can get answers in plain English by reading an abridged version of the content. The chart below provides useful information about Missouri's resisting arrest laws.


Missouri Revised Statutes:

Elements of the Crime



An individual commits the offense of resisting or interfering with an arrest by doing the following:

  • Fleeing from an officer;
  • Using or threatening to use of violence or physical force;
  • Interfering with the arrest, stop, or detention.

To be convicted of the offense, there must be evidence of intent which is established by showing that:

  • The person knew or should have known that the officer was making an arrest or was attempting to lawfully detain or stop an individual or vehicle; and
  • The person acted with the intent to interfere with or to prevent the arrest.

Resisting arrest applies to arrests, stops, or detentions for any offense, infraction, or ordinance violation (with or without warrants) and also include those conducted based on warrants issued by a court or a probation and parole officer.

Note: Unlawful arrest is no defense, so if you're charged with resisting arrest, it doesn't matter if the underlying arrest was unlawful.

Possible Penalties

Resisting/interfering arrest (for a misdemeanor arrest): Charged as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail, fines up to $2,500.

Resisting/interfering arrest (for a felony arrest): Charged as felony, punishable by incarceration of up to 4 years, fines up to $25,000.

Resisting/interfering with an arrest (causing a substantial risk of serious injury or death to another person): Charged as felony, punishable by incarceration of up to 4 years, fines up to $25,000.

Related Offense

Missouri Revised Statutes:

  • Section 575.153 (Disarming a peace officer or correctional officer)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Missouri Resisting Arrest Laws: Related Resources

Charged with Resisting Arrest in Missouri? See an Attorney

If you're accused of violating Missouri's resisting arrest laws, you could also be facing charges from the initial arrest. Even if misdemeanor charges apply, you should take them seriously and see an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you identify your options and direct you on how to proceed with your case.

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