- Resisting unlawful arrest
unlawful arrestis a possible justification for breaking the law. Defendants who use this defense are arguing that they should not be held guilty for a crime, since the actions taken were intended to protect them from an unlawful arrest.Many courts will not tolerate any violencewhatsoever (committed while resisting an unlawful arrest), and almost certainly not "deadly force," unless the policebegan to use violence "before" the defendant began to do so. In short, a defendant might be justified in running away from police attempting an unlawful arrest; but, almost certainly will not be considered justified in shootingpolice who attempt to do so (unless the defendant can somehow prove self-defense).Many states such as Illinoishave clauses in the law to prevent any legal justification of a resisting unlawful arrest.
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