Failure to Obey a Police Officer is a crime in Massachusetts. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 25 defines this law, which encompasses a number of scenarios involving an operator of a motor vehicle failing to comply with the officer’s demands.
In order to be convicted of this charge, the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt that:
1. You were operating a motor vehicle; and
2. The police officer was in uniform or had his/her badge conspicuously displayed on the outside of his/her clothing; and
3. You either: a. refused to give your name and address or the name and address of the owner of the vehicle, or gave a false name or address; or b. refused to stop when signaled to do so by the officer; or c. refused to produce your driver’s license or the vehicle’s registration; or d. refused to sign your name in the presence of the officer; and
4. You knew that the officer had made a command and you intentionally disobeyed it.
What is the Penalty in Massachusetts for Failure to Obey Police?
Although the penalty is a $100 fine, it is important to note that this is a criminal charge, not a civil infraction, and thus will show up on your criminal record. Although you may not be arrested, if you are being charged with refusing to obey a police officer you will be issued a citation and summonsed to court. Pleading guilty in court and paying the fine is not equivalent to paying a traffic ticket; you are admitting that you have committed a crime.
What Should You Do If You Are Charged With Failure to Obey a Police Officer in Massachusetts?
If you have been charged with or cited for refusing to obey a police officer, it is important to contact an experienced defense attorney right away. Possible defenses include that the police officer’s uniform or badge not readily apparent, or that you did not understand the command or know that one was being given. An attorney knowledgeable about these defense tactics may be able to have this charge dismissed before it even