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Charges for Resisting Arrest in Ohio

Updated: January 14, 2022
Nicholas G. Gounaris
By Nicholas G. Gounaris

Nicholas G. Gounaris is a skilled trial lawyer and founding partner of Gounaris Abboud law firm. He provides clients of the firm with competent legal representation and focuses his law practice in the areas of DUI Defense, Criminal Defense, Family Law Issues, Federal Criminal Law and Personal Injury cases.

resisting arrest charge ohio

Resisting arrest, also known as obstruction, can result in significant consequences.

If you face resisting arrest charges, you are in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you fight for your rights. 

What Is Resisting Arrest?

In Ohio, it is illegal to resist or interfere with a police officer’s ability to make a lawful arrest. Prosecutors can charge resisting arrest as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case.

An individual who runs or hides from a law enforcement officer will likely be charged with a misdemeanor offense, while more aggressive forms of resistance, such as violent or threatening behavior, will likely result in felony resisting arrest charges. 

Proving Resisting Arrest Charges 

To convict a defendant accused of resisting arrest, the prosecutor must establish that they intentionally attempted to prevent law enforcement officers from completing a lawful arrest.

The prosecutor must produce evidence of the defendant’s resistance. For example, they could show that the defendant ran and/or hid from officers or otherwise prevented the arrest. Prosecutors must also prove that the arrest was lawful. 

Punishment for Resisting Arrest in Ohio

If you are charged with resisting arrest, the penalty in Ohio will depend on the specific facts of your case and the specific charge. The penalty for resisting arrest increases if the charges include violence against the officers or the use of a weapon. 

A misdemeanor resisting arrest charge is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000. A felony resisting arrest conviction can result in 6 to 18 months in prison and/or fines of up to $5,000. 

Possible Defenses 

If you were charged with resisting arrest in Ohio, you may be able to defend against the charges. Self-defense and unlawful arrest are possible defenses to resisting arrest. 


If the arresting officer used an unreasonable amount of force in attempting the arrest, you may be able to claim self-defense. Police officers are generally allowed to use a reasonable amount of force, if necessary, to accomplish an arrest.

If you can prove the officer used force unjustifiably, you may be able to demonstrate that your resistance was necessary to defend yourself. 

Unlawful Arrest 

It is illegal to resist lawful arrest. If you can prove that the attempted arrest was invalid, e.g., lacked a warrant or probable cause, you may be able to defend against a resisting arrest charge. 

How We Can Help 

Gounaris Abboud, LPA, is committed to representing the legal needs of Ohio residents. Our attorneys strive to provide bold and courageous representation across a wide range of cases, including criminal defense, family law, and personal injury matters.

Our attorneys bring significant experience and expertise to our cases and approach each client with dedication and respect.

Contact us today or call 937-222-1515 for a free case analysis. Our attorneys will talk through the facts of your case with you and will do our best to represent you. 

Available 24/7 & Obligation-Free