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If a person is arrested (God forbid) on Shabbat what leniencies, if any, should he be aware of? For instance may he sign paperwork (with a shinuy) or have his fingerprint taken if refusing to do so would lead to significant legal repercussions?

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    There surely must be discussion of this in the acharonim. Note though that leniencies they discuss may possibly not apply in a m'dina shel chesed.
    – msh210
    Jul 19 '15 at 4:39
  • It shouldn't be an issue if they press your finger down for taking the prints.
    – HaLeiVi
    Jul 19 '15 at 7:37
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    I assume you mean mid'rabonon (because you mentioned shinuy). If it's mid'orayso, unless it's pikuach nefesh, it's ossur.
    – user613
    Aug 9 '15 at 13:42
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Resisting arrest in America is always pikuach nefesh. If you are able to explain to the police your needs and they are helpful, then maybe you can avoid melacha without resisting. But any resistance could easily lead to an over zealous officer firing his weapon or inflicting life threatening harm. Whenever a persons power to enforce his will on you comes from a gun, then that is pikuach nefesh.

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  • Welcome Shaffier. Waw. It is not in America only, a misinterpretation of resistance is potentially harmful.
    – kouty
    Apr 10 '16 at 17:30
  • 'Any resistance could easily lead to an over zealous officer firing his weapon or inflicting life threatening harm'-- sounds like a liberal fairytale. That is simply not how it works.
    – user9907
    Apr 10 '16 at 19:16
  • @ephraimhelfgot Both you and Shaffier are right. It's a small exaggeration. However, cops can be moody. It's just part of the job. The thing is, unless you're extremely good at reading a cop's mind, you're better being safe and following orders. This is true whether you live in a big city or a shtetl. Shaffier's main point, I believe, is that the cop has a gun and you don't. That places you at a disadvantage, no matter what you think or try.
    – DanF
    Jan 16 '18 at 3:00
  • What about in the UK where police use battons?
    – Yaabim
    Nov 22 '20 at 0:08

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