Cops are regular people. They’re moms and dads, uncles and aunts, sons and daughters. They have families all over Michigan, hobbies, and complex lives outside of their work. But when a cop is in uniform and on duty, you can’t treat them the same way you would treat another civilian on the street. Police officers have very specific skills and training, and they work a seriously dangerous job that puts them at risk. Add all of that together and you have a potential recipe for disaster if you make the wrong move.
Be careful of how you act around the cops…
Disarming a Police Officer
Never, ever try to take an officer’s gun away, or even touch a weapon in the possession of a police officer. Even if it’s in the holster on their belt and you’re not in direct confrontation with them, don’t make ANY move that might look like you’re trying to touch their firearm. Michigan cops are trained to be watchful of their sidearm, and they’ll assume that you’re intentions are bad. That means you’re likely to get hurt even if you’re only joking, or didn’t mean to really touch it. Plus, it’s actually against the law in Michigan to take a weapon from an officer. So if you make any move that looks like you’re going for a cop’s gun, you could be up against a 10 year felony charge or worse yet, in a body bag!
Assaulting a Police Officer
Michigan law is very clear about the fact that assaulting an officer is illegal and will get you into lots of trouble! Specifically, the law covers a very wide array of forbidden behaviors (7 to be exact!) when it comes to interacting with the police. The ones that pertain to physically harming an officer are referred to as “assaulting”, “battering” or “wounding” an officer while they’re performing their duty. It doesn’t have to be a significant injury to get you into trouble, though serious injuries will only make things worse for you and likely result in even more charges! However you can bet on the fact that harming an officer in any way will earn you a 2 year felony!
Resisting and Obstructing
The charge we just explained above is actually part of the legal description of ‘resisting and obstructing’ an officer. In addition to the possible assault, battery or wounding of an officer, the law also includes ‘resisting’, ‘obstructing’, ‘opposing’ or ‘endangering’. So if you’re angry and you get mouthy with a cop, they can interpret that as you opposing a lawful order and slap the cuffs on you. Being rude, yelling at cops, calling them names, or taking too long to follow orders can all result in trumped up R & O charges. Sometimes these charges are a violation of your right to free speech, which is why you need a skilled criminal defense attorney. The general rule here at The Kronzek Firm is to be polite and respectful in your dealings with police officers. Do not agree to any searches! However, if they have a warrant, you must permit the search. Never resist, obstruct, interfere with, or assault a law enforcement officer. You’ll lose that battle!
Fleeing and Eluding
Although many people think that fleeing and eluding means someone running away from the cops on foot, in Michigan this law only refers to people in vehicles. So if you’re in a car or truck, on a boat or motorcycle, or even on a bicycle, if a cop tells you to pull over and you refuse, that’s fleeing and eluding. It can also refer to someone parking their car and turning off their lights to avoid detection. As for the officer, they could be giving the instruction to pull over by using their lights and siren, with their hand, or simply by using their voice. However the instruction was given, if you recognize that a cop is giving you an order and you refuse to comply, you could be facing serious felony charges. That brings us right back to being polite and respectful to police officers.
Follow commands from cops, but don’t sacrifice your rights!
Interacting with cops can be a tricky business in Michigan. Cops can easily take offense to something, and you could end up being arrested for exercising your rights to free speech, or for something that you didn’t even realize was illegal. We recommend that when dealing with the cops, be polite (even if they aren’t!), stay calm, and call us at 866 7NoJail the second you have access to a phone! Don’t answer questions or give a statement about ANYTHING until we get there! The experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys on our trial team have spent decades defending people in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Detroit, Caro, Newago and many other places around Michigan. We can help you too if you call us at 1 866 766 5245. !