Assaulting or Resisting Police

Assaulting or Resisting Police is in section 31(1)(c) of the Crimes Act 1958 Victoria. It is what Police believe when they have been assaulted, or allege when you have resisted them, as they try to arrest you.

Have the Police accused you of Assaulting or Resisting Police? Contact us to arrange a time to speak with one of our specialist criminal lawyers. One of our experienced lawyers will help you by answering your legal questions during a private consultation.

Our criminal lawyers specialise in allegations of Assaulting or Resisting Police and have achieved great outcomes in the past for our clients.

Police interview

Before you speak with the Police, you should contact us to receive confidential and privileged advice. We can answer your important questions such as – should I make a statement to Police? Should I attend a Police interview? Will the Police leave me alone if I explain my side of the story? Will I be remanded?

You must realise that anything you tell the Police without legal advice can make running a defence in Court more difficult later on.

Our lawyers can also attend the Police station with you if you feel more comfortable having someone on your side present with you. Police interviews can be a tough experience.

Pleading not guilty

In defending an allegation of Assaulting or Resisting Police, you want a proactive lawyer who will ask Police for disclosure material such as:

  • CCTV footage,
  • Outstanding witness statements,
  • Police notes,
  • Body-cam footage.

The answer to these questions can lead to Prosecutors withdrawing an Assaulting or Resisting Police charge.

We are criminal defence lawyers who specialise in representing people charged with assaults. Our lawyers have achieved great outcomes for people charged with Assaulting or Resisting Police.

Pleading guilty

If you are pleading guilty to Assaulting or Resisting Police, we can prepare a plea strategy for you to get the best outcome. We will refer you to relevant courses, organise expert reports for you and help you gather character references.


Sentencing outcomes in the higher courts of Victoria
Sentencing Statistics Pie Chart for Assault, Threaten, Resist or Obstruct a Police Officer on Duty in the Higher Courts Between 2016 and 2021Sentencing outcomes in the Magistrates’ Courts of Victoria
Assault a Police Officer on Duty in the Magistrates' Courts Between 2018 and 2021

Which court will the case be heard in?

Assaulting or Resisting Police is regularly heard in the Magistrates’ Court.

Examples of Assaulting or Resisting Police
  • You get into an altercation at a music festival. A policeman intervenes to arrest both of you. You refuse to be arrested and wrestle with him until you are eventually arrested.
  • You are caught riding on the train without a ticket and held by the inspectors until the police arrive. When a policeman arrives you push him and run away.

Our client was charged with Assaulting Police and Resisting Police. He was initially represented by other lawyers and received a conviction and fine. Our client sought our help to appeal against the harshness of his sentence. The conviction meant he may have lost his job, and our client felt that the Police had treated him unfairly and aggressively. He ended up without a conviction, as a result of the appeal.

What is the legal definition of Assaulting or Resisting Police?

The legal definition of Assaulting or Resisting Police is assaulting and resisting the police while they are arresting you, or encouraging another person to do so.


The section that covers this offence is section 31(1)(C) of the Crimes Act 1958.

Elements of the offence
  1. A person who—
    1. assaults or threatens to assault a person with intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detention of a person—

    is guilty of an indictable offence.

What are some of the possible defences to an Assaulting or Resisting Police charge?
  • The Police were arresting you unlawfully, so you were acting in self defence.
  • Someone else Assaulted or Resisted Police.

There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • Can they prove the police were lawfully arresting you?
  • Is there a possibility of mistaken identity?
Did you act in self-defence?


Maximum penalty for section 31(1)(C) of the Crimes Act 1958

Assaulting or Resisting Police (s31(1)(C) of the Crimes Act 1958) has a maximum penalty of level 6 imprisonment (5 years).

Case Studies
Other Important Resources