What Happens When Your DUI Gets More Complicated

You might think that getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) is bad enough. Things might get a lot more serious if a resisting charge is added on, though. Resisting arrest, when charged alongside DUI, is what's known as an aggravating factor and can create some considerable additional headaches for some. Read on for more information.

What Is Meant By "Resisting Arrest"?

Despite what many people think, you don't necessarily have to violently or physically resist a law enforcement officer to be charged with resisting arrest. In some states, resisting arrest and resisting arrest with violence are two separate charges. You can resist just by making law enforcement's job more difficult. Take a look at some common behaviors that could result in a resisting arrest charge in addition to DUI:

  • Failing to show valid photo identification or failing to provide law enforcement with a true full name or other identifying information instead of a photo I.D.
  • Failing to follow a law enforcement officer's requests. For example, if asked to stand behind your vehicle, you instead keep wandering around.
  • Making verbal threats against law enforcement.
  • Using profanity.
  • Arguing with law enforcement about any aspect of the stop, field sobriety tests, etc.
  • Being disruptive when placed in a police vehicle. That might include kicking windows, removing hands from cuffs, banging head against the window, etc.
  • Lying about the presence of a weapon on your person or in your vehicle.

Impacts on Your DUI Case

While many who are not under the influence of alcohol can exhibit the above behaviors, being inebriated might make it more likely to misbehave during the stop and arrest. Unfortunately, these types of behaviors will be recorded and used to prosecute you and can only make your DUI more difficult to fight. That does not mean, though, that fighting the charges is useless. Innocent people are arrested all the time and charged with DUI and resisting arrest and there are defenses available. Your criminal defense lawyer will be prepared to show one of following of several defenses:

  • You didn't understand what the officer was saying due to a language barrier.
  • You were too intoxicated to understand what was expected of you.
  • You were suffering from a mental or neurological disorder at the time.
  • You were nervous and confused about the officer's instructions.
  • You were under mental stress due to a recent traumatic event.

Both DUI and resisting arrest convictions can result in harsh and long-lasting punishments and you should consider working with a criminal law attorney.