Georgia Resisting Arrest Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of attorney writers and editors.

Imagine that you're in the middle of being arrested. The action that you take during the arrest is pivotal; if your behavior indicates any kind of resistance, it could be construed as resisting arrest. Both civilians and police officers must act in a certain way during an arrest. However, you don't really have to be under arrest to run afoul of Georgia's resisting arrest laws. This is because resisting arrest actions are covered under the offense of obstruction of a law enforcement officer, a broad law that forbids anyone from interfering with an officer in the commission of his or her duties. For example, if you interfere with someone else's arrest, give the police false information or a false identification, or tamper with evidence, you could be charged with this crime.

Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer

The law's broad scope extends to the officers as well; it not only includes law enforcement officers like the police, but also includes judges, probation officers, and other officials designated in the statute. If you interfere with any of these officials doing their jobs, you can face charges. For instance, if you attack a probation officer or knowingly block a conservation ranger's car, then you can be charged with this offense.

Georgia Resisting Arrest Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of laws related to Georgia's resisting arrest laws, including links to important code sections.

Statute

Elements of the Crime

Obstructing an officer (misdemeanor)

  • If you knowingly and willfully obstruct or hinder any law enforcement officer from completing his or her duties, you are guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by 12 months in county jail.

Obstructing an officer (felony)

  • If you knowingly and willfully obstruct or hinder officers from completing their duties by threatening violence or actually committing violence, then this is a felony, punishable by a prison term ranging from 1-5 years.

Note: Law enforcement officers include not only police officers, but also the following:

  • Prison guards
  • Parole supervisors
  • Probation officers
  • Court officials: judges, jurors, prosecutors, witnesses
  • Conservation rangers

Possible Defenses

  • Self defense
  • Police misconduct
  • Officer did not identify himself/herself

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.

Georgia Resisting Arrest Laws: Related Resources

Contact an Attorney About Your Resisting Arrest Case in Georgia

It can be very difficult to follow the laws related to resisting arrest in Georgia. If you've been charged and are confused as to how to handle your case, you might want to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the law. Get started today by contacting a Georgia attorney located near you.

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