Resisting or obstructing a police officer, depending on the circumstances, can constitute either a misdemeanor or a felony. The charge of resisting may involve a defendant who refuses to quickly and peacefully be taken into custody pursuant to arrest. It may also include a wide variety of other circumstances, including a defendant that flees or escapes from a police officer.
Obstructing an officer is usually charged under this same section, although it may also be charged as a felony when it is alleged that that the defendant obstructed justice. Obstruction charges may similarly encompass a wide variety of scenarios. Most typically, a defendant is alleged to have obstructed a police officer when a false name is given, when intentionally misleading information is given, when a defendant interferes in the arrest of another or when the defendant refuses to leave the area after being given notice to depart.
Illinois law requires mandatory minimum sentencing provisions for people convicted of resisting or obstructing a police officer. Furthermore, supervision may not be available as a sentencing option. Especially in such circumstances, an experienced defense attorney is vital to securing a fair disposition of the case. State's Attorney offices and police departments vigorously prosecute resisting and obstruction cases specifically because those cases involve police officers as victims. A person charged with resisting or obstructing a police officer should immediately consult the advice of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.