You may not hear about it on TV, but resisting arrest is one of the most serious misdemeanors with which you can be charged. You do not have to punch an officer to get a resisting arrest. In fact, almost any act of physical resistance will do.

Why is resisting arrest such a big deal? First, it is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in jail or up to $2,500 fine, or both. Even if you avoid a jail sentence, you will not be eligible for supervision. (Supervision means you have not been technically convicted of a crime). Plus resisting arrest cannot be expunged, or cleared, off your criminal record. You might have to petition for a pardon from the governor, a difficult and time consuming process. Therefore, a case of resisting arrest can hang on your shoulders like a ton of bricks for the rest of your life. (To see the full statute regarding this violation please visit: Illinois Resisting Arrest Statute.)

If you are charged with resisting arrest, you should strongly consider hiring an attorney prior to your court date. It is important to choose an attorney who works hard and is persistent in fighting for your defense. This type of attorney can provide the best possible outcome for your case.

An attorney can help prepare evidence to show why you deserve to have your case dismissed or at least a lighter sentence. An attorney can negotiate with prosecutors in ways that you may not be able to do yourself. For example, an attorney can request a conference, known as a 402 conference, where your attorney, the judge, and prosecutor can work out an agreement.

Ryan M. Schur is a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois with an office in Schaumburg, Illinois, near the Rolling Meadows Courthouse. Attorney Schur has experience working in the area courts of Cook County. If you have any questions regarding criminal or traffic matters, please call Ryan M. Schur at 847-609-2201 or email