If a person assaults, obstructs or resists a police officer in the execution of his duties, that person can be found guilty of a criminal offence.
According to section 59 of the Police Service Act Chap 15:01
A person who assaults, obstructs, or resists a police officer in the execution of his duty, or aids or incites another person so to assault, obstruct, or resist a police officer or a person assisting the police officer in the execution of his duty, is liable on summary conviction to a fine of ten thousand dollars and to imprisonment for two years.
This means if you are charged with the above offence, you can face a fine of up to $10,000TT and to imprisonment for up to two years. If you are found guilty of the offence and you have an attorney representing you in court, he or she will likely plead for leniency from the judge on your sentencing and will give reasons why your sentencing should be minimal. The reasons can include: having no previous convictions, that you are a parent, you're the sole income earner, your age, your health or any other relevant reasons.
To avoid the situation of being charged and later convicted of such a serious offence, the best choice is to not get in the way of an officer carrying out his duties. If you are a bystander in an escalating situation, you can secure evidence (by recording videos or taking pictures) without obstructing or encouraging others to obstruct the officer. If you are the person being arrested, it may be in your interest to not resist arrest and once arrested, ask for legal counsel right away (or as soon as it is practical).
Learn more about the rights of an arrested person HERE.
Important Notice: This post does not constitute or provide legal advice. Always consult with a suitably qualified attorney-at-law on any legal problem or issue.
Law For All is managed by the AURORA Chambers Legal Practice.
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