In Illinois, the crime of resisting arrest is defined by 720 ILCS 5/31-1 as the crime committed under the following circumstances:
A person who knowingly resists or obstructs the performance by one known to the person to be a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee of any authorized act within his or her official capacity commits a Class A misdemeanor.
Resisting or obstructing a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois, meaning the maximum penalty is 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Illinois law requires a minimum sentence of either 48 hours in the county jail, or 100 hours of community service, for any person convicted of resisting or obstructing.
Even in cases where a police officer has no legal basis to make an arrest, Illinois law allows a person who resists that arrest to be convicted of resisting or obstructing. However, there are exceptions in Illinois law to this rule, such as when a police officer is engaged in certain grossly improper and violent action that threatens the life of the person being arrested.
There are many situations where people are arrested for resisting when there where no actual criminal conduct committed by the person. Sadly, some police officers use the resisting or obstructing law as a catch-all to make an arrest when there is not really any basis to arrest the person.
A person who is charged with resisting arrest in Illinois faces mandatory jail time or community service, and for that reason should take the case seriously and retain an attorney at once.