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Resisting Police or Resist Arrest


Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

John Sutton

In NSW it is an offence to interfere or prevent police from doing their job. A person can be charged if they do something that amounts to 'resisting' or 'hindering' police while they are working. A person can also be charged if they encourage someone else to 'resist', 'hinder' or assault police. The maximum penalty is 10 penalty units or imprisonment for 12 months.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for this charge.

You can find a brief description of each of these penalties at the bottom of this page.


The offence of Resisting Police or Resist Arrest:

The offence of 'Resisting etc police' is contained in s546C of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) and states:

Any person who resists or hinders or incites any person to assault, resist or hinder a police officer in the execution of his or her duty shall be liable on conviction before the Local Court to imprisonment for 12 months or to a fine of penalty units, or both.

What actions might constitute 'Resisting Police'?

Common examples of Resisting Police include:

  • Running away from Police who are trying to arrest you;
  • Struggling with Police who are trying to handcuff you after placing you under arrest;
  • Continually blocking access through a doorway or laneway to prevent police from searching it;
  • Lying to police;
  • Encouraging or egging on a mate to throw something at police; or
  • Telling someone to run away from Police who are trying to arrest them.

What the police must prove:

To convict you of Resisting Police, the prosecution must prove each of the following matters beyond reasonable doubt:

  • You either,
    • Resisted or hindered police; OR
    • Encouraged someone else to resist, hinder or assault police;
  • The person was a police officer in the NSW Police Force; and
  • The police officer was carrying out their duties as a police officer at that time.

Possible defences for Resisting Police:

The most common ways to defend this charge are:

  • To deny that you did the act that police say constituted the offence;
  • To argue that the person was not a police officer in the NSW Police Force;
  • To argue that they were not working at the time, or that what they did was outside their duties as a police officer;
  • To argue that police were acting illegally; or
  • To raise necessity or duress as the reason for your conduct.

Which court will hear your matter

The offence is a summary offence and can only be finalised in the Local Court

Will I get a criminal record for Resisting Police?

Yes. A criminal conviction is very likely unless the Court is convinced that they should exercise their discretion not to convict you of the offence.


Types of penalties:

Jail: This is the most serious penalty and involves full time detention in a correctional facility. Read more.

Home Detention: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 as a standalone order but may be imposed as a condition of an Intensive Corrections Order (ICO). Home detention is an alternative to full-time imprisonment. In effect the gaol sentence is served at your address rather than in a gaol. If you receive a sentence of home detention you will be strictly supervised and subject to electronic monitoring. Read more.

Intensive Corrections Order (ICO): This option has replaced periodic detention. The court can order you to comply with a number of conditions, such as attending counselling or treatment, not consuming alcohol, complying with a curfew and performing community service. Read more.

Suspended Sentence: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018. This is a jail sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the jail sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to two years. Read more.

Community Service Order (CSO): As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 and replaced with a Community Corrections Order (CCO). This involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by probation and parole or attendance at a centre to undertake a course, such as anger management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the probation service as suitable to undertake the order. Read more.

Good Behaviour Bond: As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018 and replaced with a Community Corrections Order (CCO). This is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years. Read more.

Community Corrections Orders (CCO): A CCO involves the standard conditions that an offender must not commit any offence and that the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the Community Corrections Orders (CCO). Additional conditions may be imposed at the discretion of the court, both at the time of sentence and subsequently upon application by a community corrections officer, juvenile justice officer or the offender. Read more.

Fines: When deciding the amount of a fine the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set. Read more.

Section 10A: A section 10A is a conviction, with no other penalty attached to it. Read more.

Conditional Release Order (CRO): A CRO involves the standard conditions that an offender must not commit any offence and that the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the CRO. Read more.

Section 10 avoiding a criminal record. Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. However, if we can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead. Read more.


where to next?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

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