The Resisting Arrest Law in California prohibits individuals from willfully resisting, delaying, or obstructing officers or EMTs (emergency medical technician) from performing their duties. Resisting Arrest is a misdemeanor which carries a maximum of one year in jail and/or up to a $1000 fine. Having this conviction on your criminal record will not make things easy for you should you have another police encounter in the future. While the consequences may not seem devastating, it is still important to fight these charges instead of pleading guilty.
California Penal Code 148 PC includes subdivisions that could make your charges serious. You can also be charged with taking a weapon from an officer, which can end with felony charges, or interrupting radio communications. In order to be convicted of any of these offenses, the prosecutor must have the necessary proof. It must be proven that you willfully resisted an officer or EMT, while they were performing their duties, and that you reasonably should have known that they were an officer or EMT.
Got the District Attorney to dismiss the charge of resisting arrest on B.T. in Sacramento County – May 2011
Resisting, delaying, and obstructing an officer includes a lot of actions. Acts such as running from the officer, hiding, or pushing the officer away from you are a few examples. If you resist being handcuffed, put in a police car, or placed in a holding cell, you will likely have resisting arrest charges. Resisting arrest does not necessarily have to involve a physical act. Verbal acts such as falsely identifying yourself or refusing to disclose your identity are sufficient to bring charges against you.
In order to be charged with Resisting Arrest, you must have resisted, delayed, or obstructed “an officer who is engaged in the performance of his/her duties.” This could mean any of the following:
- The officer was making/attempting to make a lawful arrest
- The officer was exercising custody over a person under citizen’s arrest
- The officer was using reasonable force to conduct a lawful detention or arrest
- The officer was detaining/attempting to detain a person for questioning
Should the officer have been acting unlawfully, or using unreasonable force, Resisting Arrest charges may be lifted. For example, if the officer broke into your home without a warrant and you tried to force them out of your home, resulting in a physical altercation, you are not breaking the Resisting Arrest Law.
Sacramento Resisting Arrest Defense Attorney
There are many defense strategies for resisting arrest charges. The judge has many considerations to include, such as whether the officer was in uniform or whether they were driving an official or undercover car. Depending on your circumstances, your defense could be as simple as proving that the officer was performing an unlawful procedure. In some cases, officers may have a history of misconduct that can lend itself to your case by reducing or even dismissal of charges.
At the Law Offices of Bowman & Associates, we are confident that our Criminal Defense team can help you achieve the best outcome in your Resisting Arrest case. For legal assistance dealing with your resisting arrest and other criminal law issues, contact an Experienced Criminal Law Attorney in Sacramento today for your free initial consultation.