Under Missouri criminal laws, you can be charged with resisting or interfering with arrest when an arrest, being made by a law enforcement officer is interfered with by:

  1. Using or threatening the use of violence or physical force, or
  2. Fleeing from the officer, or
  3. Interfering with the arrest, stop or detention of another person by using or threatening the use of violence, physical force or physical interference.

The State must be able to prove that the accused defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the officer was making an arrest, or attempting to detain or stop an individual or vehicle, and the defendant must have acted with the purpose of interfering with the arrest.

In resisting arrest by the use of physical force is defined as “power, violence, compulsion, or constraint exerted upon or against a person.” Therefore, the State can prove “physical force” by showing that the defendant simply exerted his body in a way that created resistance to the officer’s attempts to arrest him. Thus, “passive resistance,” such as going limp or stiffening the body may be sufficient use of physical force to support a conviction.

Resisting or interfering with an arrest, stop or detention for a felony, whether by flight or by other means, is a class D felony; resisting or interfering with arrests or detentions for other than felonies is a class A misdemeanor, except that resisting by flight that creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury or death is a class D felony. Where an arrest is commenced for a misdemeanor, and, in the process, circumstances come to light warranting an arrest for a felony, continued resistance to the arrest will be a felony. Resisting by flight is a class D felony if the fugitive creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury or death.

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