Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary

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Resisting Arrest

The crime of failing to submit to a law enforcement officer's arrest. Though definitions of the crime vary from state to state, someone can typically commit the offense even without using force. Further, someone might be guilty of resisting arrest even if the officer isn't trying to apply handcuffs or otherwise enforce an actual arrest. Depending on the statute, the crime may be complete where the person fails to obey an officer's lawful order.