By now, you’ve probably seen the video. A New York City cowboy cop mistakenly identifies American tennis star—and Fairfield Connecticut native—James Blake for a wanted criminal and, without warning, immediately tackles him to the ground and handcuffs him. According to Blake, as well as the video which has gone viral, this officer failed to identify himself as a police officer, failed to ask Blake for his name or identification, and failed to advise Blake of any of his Miranda rights before assaulting and handcuffing him. Blake calmly complied with the officer, even while being led handcuffed through a crowded sidewalk, until he was released 10 minutes later.
What’s so remarkable about this James Blake case was how calm Blake remained during the entire attack. Most people who are blindsided and assaulted by a rogue police officer would not have responded as calmly as Blake did. Top Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys frequently see similar situations of unwarranted police brutality—however their clients usually end up with someone being arrested in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien or New Canaan Connecticut for Interference with an Officer under C.G.S. 53a-167a.
This begs the question—can you really get arrested in Danbury, Ridgefield, Stamford, Greenwich, Darien or anywhere else in Connecticut for 53a-167a Interference with Police for simply defending yourself against police brutality? Yes, but keep reading to learn how you can fight a wrongful Connecticut arrest for Interfering with an Officer…
C.G.S. 53a-167a: An Overbroad and Unconstitutional Interference with Police Officer Statute
Under the Interference with an Officer Connecticut penal code, C.G.S. 53a-167a, you can be arrested for Interference with Police in Connecticut if you resist, obstruct, hinder, or endanger a police officer in the performance of the officer’s duties. The reason top Danbury, Stamford and Greenwich criminal lawyers see so many arrests for Interference with Police Officers is because of how broad this statute is—as almost any behavior can be construed as interfering with an officer if a cop spins the allegations in a way favorable to law enforcement. As a result of this ambiguous and sweeping statutory language, the best Stamford, Greenwich and Danbury Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys typically see Connecticut Interference with Police tacked on to other charges like arrests in Connecticut for Disorderly Conduct or Breach of Peace in the Second Degree. This “piling on” of charges makes it easier of for Connecticut state prosecutors to pressure you into pleading out or making a deal with the. Don’t be intimidated—a top Connecticut criminal lawyer can neutralize this prosecutorial tactic by forcing the prosecutors to clearly spell out and prove the alleged interfering conduct.
Fighting Connecticut Interference with Police Officer Arrests in Connecticut
What exactly is “resisting, obstructing or hindering” conduct that leads to an arrest for 53a-167a Interference with an Officer in the Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport or Danbury Connecticut criminal courts? And who gets to decide if the conduct rises to the level of criminal conduct? Unfortunately the police do, and they often take full advantage of the over-broadness of the statute. Here are some conscience-shocking examples of interfering with officer arrests: verbally arguing with a police officer, asking an officer for their full name and badge number, asking an officer for the full name of their supervisor, trying to loosen handcuffs that have been slapped onto your wrists too tightly, approaching an officer who is being too rough with your wife, husband or child, and speaking up against a nasty or offensive off-hand remark made by an officer. Stamford, Greenwich and Darien Connecticut police have unfettered discretion to immediately arrest you for Interference with Police—immediately giving you an arrest record subject to any employment background check and which will likely be published in online arrest reports.
As many of the best Stamford, Greenwich and New Canaan criminal lawyers would agree, one of the most effective ways to fight an arrest for Interference with an Officer in New Canaan, Darien or Greenwich Connecticut is to have your top Connecticut criminal lawyer attorney subpoena the video and audio surveillance recordings of your confrontation with the police. Cops may not like it but, on your very first court date, your top Stamford or Greenwich Connecticut Interference with Police criminal attorney lawyer can make a motion to the court to preserve all police cruiser dashboard cameras, booking video surveillance recordings, and other surveillance footage in the vicinity of your arrest (from nearby homes and buildings). These digital recording systems are often on a 30-day loop so it’s critical to get these motions in front of a judge as soon as possible, before the video footage gets overwritten. Follow this link to read about other defense strategies for fighting Connecticut Interference with Police Officer arrests.
Penalties for Interference with Police Arrests in Stamford, Greenwich and Darien Connecticut
Top Stamford, Norwalk and New Canaan Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys know that an Interference with Police arrest is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, the most serious misdemeanor charge, with penalties of up to 1 year in jail, probation, and a maximum $2,000 fine.
Contact a Connecticut Police Brutality / Interference with Police Criminal Lawyer Today
The tide has turned against rogue cops and law enforcement officers like the one who assaulted James Blake. So if you are a victim of police brutality in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien or New Canaan, Connecticut, and have been wrongfully arrested in Connecticut for Interference with an Officer under C.G.S. 53a-167a, contact the criminal and civil rights lawyers at Mark Sherman Law today. We are not afraid to push back against aggressive police and prosecutors who seek to enforce wrongful arrests for Interference with Police and take advantage of their positions of power. Let us help you fight your Connecticut arrest for Interference with an Officer. You deserve justice and accountability. Call the Mark Sherman Law firm today at (203) 358-4700.