Picture this: You’re driving on the road, and the police attempt to pull you over. If you fail to stop, that’s resisting law enforcement.   

Misdemeanor to Felony  

Typically, resisting law enforcement is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 365 days in jail and a $5,000 fine. Depending on the circumstances, however, things can get worse. 

For example, the scenario we opened with would be charged as a Level 6 felony because you used a vehicle to commit the offense. A Level 6 felony carries a maximum penalty of two-and-a-half years in prison and a $10,000 fine. 

If your resistance leads  to an accident that causes serious bodily injury to another person or even a police officer, you can be charged with a Level 5 felony. That carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Yikes! 

What Is Serious Bodily Injury?  

So what exactly counts as a serious bodily injury? In Indiana, there are five different ways that something can qualify. A person has endured a serious bodily injury if they’ve suffered:

  • serious permanent disfigurement; 
  • loss of consciousness; 
  • extreme pain;
  • permanent or extended disfigurement or impairment; or
  • loss of a fetus. 

For example, let’s say you’re trying to evade the authorities. You take off in your car, and you cause a crash that results in someone else breaking their arm. That’s serious bodily injury, which the State can use to enhance your existing Level 6 felony charge to a Level 5. 

Make the Right Call  

Resisting law enforcement charges are serious, but don’t panic. The Marc Lopez Law Firm is here to help. Give us a call at 317-632-3642 and remember–always plead the 5th!