Can I resist an arrest that's carried out without probable cause?

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Can I forcefully resist an arrest that’s carried out without probable cause?


In most situations, people under arrest have no right to use force to resist, even if the arresting police officer lacks probable cause. An improperly arrested person who resists arrest may be charged with resisting arrest, battery on a police officer, or another offense. To protect arrestees and police officers alike, judges and legislators want issues of probable cause to be fought out in court after the fact, not on the streets.

For more on this issue, see Resisting Arrest and Resisting Arrest When Police Use Excessive Force.


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