Michigan Resisting and Obstructing a Police Officer (R&O)

undefinedMichigan Resisting and Obstructing (R&O). Did You Know Your Sentence Can Double, Triple, or Even More?

Dependent on the specifics of your case and how many officers were involved, it is possible that your sentence could actually double, triple, or more ... in your Michigan Resisting and Obstructing charge.

At Prain Law PLLC, we zealously defend our client's rights against Michigan R&O charges. A Michigan Resisting and Obstructing charge (or Assault on a Police Officer, or Resisting Arrest - however worded in the Felony Complaint Warrant) is a Felony Assault Charge, meaning it is punishable by up to 2 years in State Prison... per count!

In a Michigan Resisting and Obstructing case, your defense requires some very important and critical decisions from the very start. Decisions for which you need adequate counsel. The initial Hearing or Arraignment will determine your Bond conditions, an extremely important factor when considering how the conditions of that Bond can impact your daily life. An experienced attorney can help you navigate this process and save you the anguish of facing the judge without skilled representation. (The law does not require that legal counsel for the defense be present at an Arraignment).

The next big decision that will need to be made is whether to "hold" or "waive" the Preliminary Exam.

Michigan's Resisting and Obstructing law, MCL 750.81d(1) reads (in relevant part), as follows:

"... an individual who assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes, or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his or her duties is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $2000.00, or both."

Because a Michigan Resisting and Obstructing charge, under MCL 750.81d(1), is a Felony charge falling into the general category of assault crimes, you have a statutory right to a Preliminary Examination. A Pre-Exam is more or less a "mini trial", wherein the Prosecutor must call witnesses to testify, and admit any other evidence of the casein front the the District Court Judge (there is no Jury presence at a Pre-Exam), sufficient to prove 2 things:

1) that there is probable cause to believe that a Michigan Resisting and Obstructing crime was committed;

2) that there is probable cause to believe that you are actually the person who committed the Michigan Resisting and Obstructing crime. Probable Cause carries a much lower standard of proof than theProof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt that isrequired to convict you at Trial.

If you waive (give up) your right to a Preliminary Examination, you are essentially admitting that there is probable cause to believe that the Michigan Resisting and Obstructing was committed and that you committed it. When this happens your case is "bound over" to the Circuit Court of that County, for further proceedings heading toward Trial.

In the State of Michigan Resisting and Obstructing charges often come with "multiple counts" when multiple police officers were at the scene and/or immediately involved with your arrest. For example, if you are arrested and handcuffed by 2 officers at the same time, and the officers allege that you "tensed up" or "physically resisted" in some way, you could be charged with 2 counts of Michigan Resisting and Obstructing - one for each officer with his/her hands on you. Add another officer who, at their own discretion, comes over to assist - you may now have 3 counts, and so on...

As you can see, these multiple Michigan Resisting and Obstructing charges can get out of hand pretty quickly, with little or no additional action on your part!

Now take MCL 750.81d(2) into account:

"[a]n individual who assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes, or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his or her duties causing bodily injury requiring medical attention or medical care to that person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $5000.00, or both."

So... if one of these 3 officers somehow gets a cut (requiring stitches or other medical treatment) while taking you to the concrete, your maximum exposure to State Prison for Michigan Resisting and Obstructing now doubles.

If you are accused of actually Assaulting an Officer (as opposed to merelyresisting him), there is a special law that allows the Court to make the sentences for multiple counts run consecutively, rather than concurrently. Meaning that, if there were 3 officers involved in this Michigan Resisting and Obstructing, a 2 year prison max is now 6, etc.

The right time to fight these difficult risk-increasing factors, get testimony on record, and attack the Prosecutor's evidence...is at the Preliminary Examination of your Michigan Resisting and Obstructing case.

Brain J. Prain has an effective and successful law practice, concentrated in defending Michigan Resisting and Obstructing cases. Call our office at (248) 731-4543 for a free consultation. If you're not in a good place to talk, fill out the form and we will be glad to answer your questions.

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