When Pennsylvania residents get in trouble with the law, they may think they can avoid the situation if they are not arrested. However, this can lead to even more problems, as resisting an arrest is also considered a crime.

Some people may wonder what it means to resist an arrest. According to FindLaw, resisting arrest means that someone was making it difficult for a law enforcement official to arrest him or her. A person might struggle, making it necessary for the law enforcement official to pick up this person to carry out the arrest. In other situations, someone might provide false information or attack law enforcement personnel. Sometimes law enforcement might charge someone with resisting arrest even if the person has not done anything. This is because this offense sometimes includes situations when people delay law enforcement officials.

Most of the time, law enforcement personnel need to prove that a person intended to resist an arrest. This means people usually have to demonstrate that the arrest was lawful and the law enforcement official involved in the arrest did not use unnecessary force. Additionally, law enforcement may also have to show that a person charged with resisting arrest knew he or she was dealing with an officer of the law.

Although some people may want to avoid trouble with law enforcement, resisting arrest carries its own penalties. FindLaw says that in Pennsylvania, this offense is a second-degree misdemeanor. People who commit this offense may need to pay a fine and these fines can range as high as $5,000. Additionally, some people may also spend up to two years in jail.