Is Resisting and Obstructing a Felony or Misdemeanor in Michigan?

undefinedIs a Michigan Resisting and Obstructing charge a Felony or Misdemeanor?  Here is the short answer: a Michigan Resisting and Obstructing charge (also known by a host of other names, including R and OResisting ArrestResisting and Obstructing a Police OfficerResisting a Police OfficerAssault on a Police OfficerAssaulting a Police Officer, and others) can be either a Felony or Misdemeanor.  Read on to figure out how to tell whether you or someone you know is facing the less-serious Misdemeanor, or the more serious Felony charge...

The basic question is: Are you charged by the State of Michigan, or by a local City, Township, or Village?

The basis for a Michigan Resisting and Obstructing charge from the State of Michigan is found in the Michigan Resisting and Obstructing law, MCL 750.81d [click the preceding link to find the text of the Michigan Resisting and Obstructing law.]  Note that there is another Michigan Resisting and Obstructing law, MCL 750.479.  If you are charged under these State laws, it is a Felony charge with a maximum sentence of up to 2 years in Prison (and from 4 to 20 years if injury or death allegedly results to the Officer).  [click this link to learn how multiple counts of Michigan Resisting and Obstructing due to multiple Officers can cause your Resisting and Obstructing Sentence to "double-up"] 

On the other hand, the State of Michigan is not the only governmental authority with the power to enact Resisting and Obstructing (R&O) laws and charge Michigan Resisting and Obstructing crimes.  In-fact, every local City, Township, or Village has the power, through it's City Council, to enact their own criminal laws within their "Code of Ordinances."  But these local municipalities lack the power to charge people with Resisting and Obstructing Felony charges; they can only charge people with Resisting and Obstructing Misdemeanor charges.  If you follow this link, you can look-up the Michigan Resisting and Obstructing Ordinance for any local municipality.  Contrary to the Felony charge under State law, these local Resisting and Obstructing Ordinance Misdemeanors are often simply titled "Resisting Arrest" or "Resisting an Officer."

Also, the crime of Michigan Attempt Resisting and Obstructing is a Misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to 1 year in Jail.  This is because an "Attempt" cuts the maximum penalty in-half.

The Bottom Lineif you or someone you know is facing a Michigan Resisting and Obstructing charge, a review of the Court paperwork will answer the question "is my Resisting and Obstructing charge a Felony or Misdemeanor?"  If the paperwork says "People of the State of Michigan v. [You}, then you are facing a Resisting and Obstructing Felony.  If it says "City/Township/Village of _____ v. [You], or if you are charged with "Attempt," you are facing a Resisting and Obstructing Misdemeanor, and are only subject to Jail, rather than Prison.  Additionally, if your case has been set for a Resisting and Obstructing Preliminary Examination, it is a Felony - Misdemeanors do not have Resisting and Obstructing Preliminary Exams.

Still confused or have other questions?  You need a knowledgeable Michigan Resisting and Obstructing Lawyer, because making the right choice can save your freedom and future.  Call The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC anytime at (248) 731-4543.  Don’t wait – the faster you act, the better your chances!  You can also fill-out the Contact Form


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