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Resisting Arrest: Things to Avoid when Pulled over by a Police Officer

Mark Mandell, Esq.

Motorists are pulled over by police officers every day for a variety of different reasons. Whatever the circumstances, there are many acts prohibited by law citizens should avoid when being stopped by police so as to refrain from making matters worse.

First, MCL 750.479a(1) states that when a police officer in uniform signals by hand, voice, emergency light, or siren for the driver to pull over, the driver may not willfully disobey the signal. An individual who does willfully obey such a direction is guilty of fourth-degree fleeing and eluding, a felony punishable by imprisonment of up to two years and a fine of up to $2,000. Both the level of the felony and the punishment increase if the fleeing results in an accident, results in the death or injury of another person, the speed limit is less than 35 miles-per-hour, or the driver has prior convictions.

Second, there are more laws that apply once a driver has come to a stop. MCL 750.479(1)(b) states that a person may not assault, batter, wound, obstruct, or endanger an officer enforcing the law. This includes the use or threatened use of physical interference or force as well as a knowing failure to comply with a lawful command. An individual who engages in any of the prohibited conduct is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment of up to two years and a fine of up to $2,000. Furthermore, if a violation of this statute causes injury or death to the officer, the punishment significantly increases.

To avoid incurring any additional legal trouble, your best bet when traveling on the roadways is always to comply with an officer’s commands.

If you have questions about criminal matters, fraud or other legal issues, please contact Mark Mandell at 248-468-4536 or online at

Fausone Bohn, LLP has assisted clients pulled over for drunk driving and other driving infractions throughout southeast Michigan, including Detroit, Ann Arbor, Northville, Novi, Livonia, Canton, Farmington, and Royal Oak.

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