Tennessee Resisting Arrest Laws
Ideally, an arrest by the police should occur without incident. Unfortunately, there are occasions when an arrest goes awry: the officer didn't follow the proper procedure while making the arrest or the citizen acted in a way that interfered with the officer making the arrest, such as moving erratically, yelling, or physically getting in the officer's way. In cases of an officer's misconduct, a citizen can seek relief and an officer may be disciplined.
But if the civilian's behavior is questionable, they may face charges for resisting arrest. The circumstances under which a person can be charged with resisting arrest vary by state law. In Tennessee, you can be charged with resisting arrest if you resist a stop, halt, or police search. You also can be charged if you obstruct a service processor while you are being served.
Tennessee Resisting Arrest Laws at a Glance
If you're researching laws, then it's critical to know exactly what the statutes mean, especially for criminal matters. Read the chart below for a concise version of Tennessee resisting arrest laws written in everyday terms.
Tennessee Code Annotated Title 39:
Resisting Arrest Offenses
Resisting a stop, frisk, halt, arrest, or search; prevention or obstruction of service of legal writ or process:
Violations are Class B misdemeanors and a Class A misdemeanor if the individual uses a deadly weapon to resist the stop, frisk, halt, arrest, search, or process server.
It is not a defense that the stop, frisk, halt, arrest, or search was unlawful.
Evading an officer:
Violations are Class A misdemeanors. It is a defense that the attempted arrest was unlawful.
Evading officer: operating a motor vehicle
It is a defense that the attempted arrest was unlawful.
Use of Force
Reasonable Force: Force is reasonable where a law enforcement officer:
Deadly Force: Deadly force can be used by a law enforcement officer when the following criteria are met:
Class A misdemeanor: Incarceration for up to 11 months, 29 days, fines up to $2,500.
Class B misdemeanor: Incarceration for up to 6 months, fines up to $500.
Class E felony: Incarceration for up to 6 years, fines up to $3,000.
Class D felony: Incarceration for up to 12 years, fines up to $5,000.
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.
Tennessee Resisting Arrest Laws: Related Resources
- Tennessee Criminal Laws
- Tennessee Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws
- Excessive Force and Police Brutality
Facing Tennessee Resisting Arrest Charges? See an Attorney
If you're accused of violating Tennessee's resisting arrest laws, then you should seek counsel to try to get the best possible outcome of your case and to know all your options. Talk to an experienced Tennessee criminal attorney located near you to find out more.
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