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Misdemeanor, Battery, Police, Resist

Indianapolis Resisting Law Enforcement Conviction Reversed

The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed an Indianapolis man’s conviction for Resisting Law Enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor. The Court held that because the officer did not have probable cause or reasonable suspicion that the man was involved in criminal activity, the defendant was free to ignore his commands to stop and therefore was not guilty of Resisting Law Enforcement.

The defendant in this case was walking down the street when a police officer passed him in a marked police car. The officer thought that the defendant was gesturing and acting unstable, so he drove back to approach the defendant. When the officer got out of his car, the defendant shouted at him and accused him of trying to run the defendant over. The defendant made punching gestures toward the police officer while the two were standing many feet apart, and then ran away from the officer.

The officer chased the man and ordered him to stop. The defendant continued to run, so the officer used his Taser to knock him down. The defendant and officer then got into an altercation. At a bench trial in the Marion Superior Court, the defendant was convicted of both Battery and Resisting Law Enforcement, Class A misdemeanor offenses.

His conviction for Resisting Law Enforcement was reversed on appeal. The Indiana Court of Appeals held that because there was no legal reason for the officer to stop the man, he was free to walk away. There was no evidence that the defendant was committing any criminal offense to justify detaining him, and therefore he did not commit Resisting Law Enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor. The Fourth Amendment protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that police cannot detain a person without legal justification.

If you have been arrested following a police encounter, at time when you were not involved in criminal activity, contact Gibson Law Office. If your Fourth Amendment rights were violated, we will aggressively defend you.