The Harvard Crimson reported today that third year Harvard Law student Charles Simpkins was arrested and charged with disorderly conducting and resisting arrest. According to the article, on January 24, 2009 Simpkins left a bar drunk and entered a parked Boston Police cruiser. He told the officers to give him a ride and offered that he worked for the district attorney’s office. Apparently the defendant was an intern at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, working at the Dorchester District Court. The district attorney’s office terminated Simkins’ employment shortly after the incident.
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The charges Simkins faces are as follows:
1. Resisting Arrest. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268 Section 32B makes resisting arrest in Massachusetts a crime. The law states that anyone who knowingly prevents or attempts to prevent a police officer from arresting someone either by using or threatening force against the office or doing something that creates a substantial risk of causing bodily injury to the police officer is guilty of this crime. The maximum sentence for a violation of this law is 2 1/2 years in jail.
Here are some nuances to this law. It is not a defense to this crime that the officer was attempting to make an unlawful arrest. Also, the term police officer refers to those in uniform or in plain clothes provided that in the latter case the officer exhibits his credentials while attempting to make the arrest.
2. Disorderly conduct. This is a crime pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 53. The law states that anyone who acts disorderly may be punished by up to 6 months in jail or fined up to $200 or both. A person is disorderly if with a purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof he creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.