Michigan Resisting Arrest is defined as "an individual who assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his or her duties". Resisting arrest in Michigan is a felony that carries a penalty of two years in person.
If during the incident the police officer is injured and requires immediate medical attention, the offense is a four year felony. If the police officer suffers a serious impairment of a body function, the offense is now a 15 year felony, and if the incident causes death to a police officer, it is now a 20 year felony.
It is becoming more common for prosecutors to charge resisting arrest in cases where the charge may not have been issued in the past. One could argue that most arrests in Michigan have some aspect of either resisting, obstructing or opposing, but the crime is not always charged. Some prosecutors will cut the defendant a break, and only charge attempted resisting arrest, which makes the crime a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
Another common charging strategy is to charge a bunch of misdemeanors along with felony resisting arrest, with the idea that dismissing the felony will be a bargaining chip to get the client to plead guilty to the other misdemeanors. While a dismissal of the felony is a great result, having a series of misdemeanors on your record will not allow you to expunge your record at a later date.
If you have questions about how to best handle a resisting arrest charge at the 15th District Court, give me a call at 248-924-9458.