Resisting Arrest – Legal Definition
Resisting arrest as it is described in the California Penal Code 148(a) is based on three facts. These facts are as follows:
- A peace officer, public officer, or emergency medical technician was there and they were attempting to do their job
- The person arrested willfully resisted, obstructed, or delayed the officer or EMT while they were doing their job
- The person who was arrested should have reasonably known or been able to deduce that the person they obstructed, delayed, or willfully resisted was an officer or EMT
In order for a person to be guilty of resisting arrest, they must have done all three of these things.
Resisting Arrest Criminal Attorney
In order to properly defense yourself, you must hire the best resisting arrest criminal attorney. There are a few terms that need to be defined more specifically in order to make the facts more clear. Willfully, in this case, means intentionally. It does not matter if the act that was committed broke any laws or if it injured another in the process of its commission as long as it was done on purpose or with intent, it is considered willful. Resisting, delaying or obstructing make most people think of running away or hitting someone but verbal statements, such as giving an officer a false name or not telling an officer your name when asked, can also count as resisting arrest. Not having a great resisting arrest criminal attorney on your side can result in great penalties.
If a person is convicted of resisting arrest, they can face up to 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. They may also be put on probation for as long as the judge deems appropriate.
There are several possible defenses to a resisting arrest charge. A seasoned criminal defense attorney could argue that the arrest was unlawful or a result of police misconduct. This is because if a person obstructs an unlawful action by law enforcement, they cannot be guilty of resisting arrest. Some examples of unlawful actions or police misconduct are using unreasonable force, racial profiling, entering a home without a warrant and arresting someone without an arrest warrant or probable cause.
A resisting arrest criminal attorney can also argue self-defense, meaning that the officer was using excessive force and that you were simply trying to defend yourself. This defense requires that you were using no more force than you believed was reasonably necessary and that you used no more force than a reasonable person would think was necessary.
In California, resisting arrest is often an exaggerated charge, people are often charged just because they were rude or uncooperative with the police. An attorney may, therefore, be able to get the charges dismissed entirely in this case.
Some Related Offenses
Under California Penal Code 69 PC, there is a more serious charge, known as Resisting an Executive Officer. This charge applies when there was force or violence used to resist an officer. The reason that it is more serious is because it is broader and includes anyone that is responsible for enforcing the law as well as the fact that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A person cannot be charged with both resisting arrest and resisting an executive officer at the same time.
Another related charge is evading arrest, this law consists of two separate offenses. First is a misdemeanor evading arrest charge which makes it illegal to willfully flee an officer in a car when a person knows that they are going to be arrested. This charge comes with a maximum jail sentence of 1 year. Second is a felony reckless driving charge which makes it illegal to flee a police car in a vehicle and drive recklessly, putting both yourself and others in danger. This offense can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
Ready to Fight for You!
If you or a loved one is facing an arson charge, you need an aggressive criminal defense lawyer on your side. With offices in Costa Mesa and San Diego, we serve people throughout Southern California. Call (855) 505-5588 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.