What Happens if You Resist Arrest?
In California, if a police officer is executing an arrest warrant or is fulfilling their duty as a police officer and thereby choosing to arrest you, you must comply. If you intentionally resist the arrest, you can be charged with an additional crime: resisting arrest. To resist arrest is not a simple act. In fact, it can result in not only fines, but also jail time. Therefore, it is imperative that you comply with the orders of an officer, but only if they are acting as part of their professional duties. If the officer is threatening or is violent towards you, you may have a defense against the charge. In any case, it is incredibly helpful to have the counsel of experienced attorneys.
The Elements of the Crime
Resisting arrest is illegal according to California Penal Code 148. This section states that it is illegal to resist arrest when it is being conducted by a police/peace officer or EMT while they are performing their duties. Furthermore, the defendant must have intentionally resisted being arrested or done something to obstruct the arrest from happening. While the defendant was intentionally resisting arrest, they must have also known that the officer was performing on the job. A prosecutor has to prove all of the aforementioned elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a defendant to be found guilty. The defendant can provide a defense and their legal counsel will work to poke holes in the prosecution’s case. It is important to note that resisting arrest can be extended beyond the literal arrest and be applied to interviewing a witness or interfering with an officer.
Penalties if Found Guilty
In the case where the prosecution does meet its burden, the defendant will face a misdemeanor offense. This misdemeanor is not light, as it can require spending up to a year in jail. On top of the jail time, they can also be required to pay a fine. Given the severity of the crime, we highly encourage you to reach out to us at Law Advocate Group for experienced counsel.