The opposition of force to force.
Resistance is either lawful or unlawful. 1. It is lawful to resist one who is in the act of committing a felony or other crime, or who maliciously endeavors to commit such felony or crime. See self defence. And a man may oppose force to force against one who endeavors to make an arrest, or to enter his house without lawful authority for the purpose; or, if in certain cases he abuse such authority, and do more than he was authorized to do; or if it turn out in the result he has no right to enter, then the party about to be imprisoned, or whose house is about to be illegally entered, may resist the illegal imprisonment or entry by self-defence, not using any dangerous weapons, and may escape, be rescued, or even break prison, and others may assist him in so doing.
Resistance is unlawful when the persons having a lawful authority to arrest, apprehend, or imprison, or otherwise to advance or execute the public justice of the country, either civil or criminal, and using the proper means for that purpose, are resisted in so doing; and if the party guilty of such resistance, or others assisting him, be killed in the struggle, such homicide is justifiable; while on the other hand, if the officer be killed, it will, at common law, be murder in those who resist.