Resisting Arrest in Virginia under Va. Code §18.2-479.1 occurs when an offender intentionally prevents or attempts to prevent a law enforcement officer from arresting him. Resisting arrest in Virginia can occur in one of two ways: fleeing when an officer applies physical force to the person being arrested, or fleeing when an officer communicates to the person that he is under arrest, the officer has legal authority to place the person under arrest and the apparent physical ability to do so, and a reasonable person receiving that communication knows or should know that he is not free to leave. “Fleeing” means running away from the officer or moving away from the officer’s immediate span of control.
Proof of Resisting Arrest in Virginia
To convict an offender of resisting arrest in Virginia under Va. Code §18.2-479.1, the Commonwealth must prove:
- a lawful arrest
- the officer communicated to the person that he was under arrest
- the officer had legal authority to arrest
- the officer had the apparent physical ability to arrest
- a reasonable person knew or should have known that he was not free to leave, and
- the suspect fled.
The Commonwealth must prove a lawful arrest in order to convict an offender of Resisting Arrest in Virginia under Va. Code §18.2-479.1 A person may use reasonable force to resist an unlawful arrest or a lawful arrest being made with unreasonable force and therefore cannot be convicted of resisting arrest under those circumstances.
Penalty for Resisting Arrest in Virginia
Resisting Arrest in Virginia (Va. Code 18.2-479.1)
§18.2-479.1. Resisting arrest; fleeing from a law-enforcement officer; penalty.