Resisting Arrest -California Penal Code 148(a)(1) PC and Penal Code 243(c)(1) and (2)
What is Resisting Arrest in California?
Under California Penal Code 148(a) PC, it is illegal to willfully resist, delay, or obstruct any public officer, peace officer or emergency medical technician (EMT) in the discharge of his or her official duties.
In order to convict you of resisting arrest, the prosecution must prove:
- The victim was a peace officer/public officer/EMT lawfully performing or attempting to perform his or her official duties; AND
- You willfully resisted/obstructed/delayed the victim in the performance or attempted performance of those duties; AND
- When you acted you knew, or reasonably should have known, that the victim was a peace officer/public officer/EMT performing or attempting to perform his or her duties
If it is alleged that you took a firearm or weapon from the officer under California Penal Code sections 148(b), (c) or (d), the prosecution must also prove that:
- While you resisted/obstructed/delayed the officer in the performance of his or her duties, you took or removed a firearm/weapon from the officer’s immediate presence
If you unlawfully touched the officer in a harmful or offensive manner during the course of the arrest, you can also be charged with battery on a police officer under California Penal Code section 243(c)(1) and (2). In order to convict you of this offense, the prosecution must prove:
- The victim was a peace officer performing his or her duties AND
- You willfully and unlawfully touched the officer in a harmful or offensive manner AND
- When you acted you knew or reasonably should have known that the victim was a peace officer who was performing his or her duties
Defenses to a Resisting Arrest Charge in California
There are a number of defenses for a resisting arrest charge that a California criminal defense lawyer at Wallin & Klarich can raise on your behalf. Your attorney can argue:
- The arrest was unlawful
- Self defense
- You were not aware that the officer was performing his or her duties
- You did not resist arrest
Each of these defenses can be raised depending upon the facts of your individual case. Be sure to consult a California resisting arrest defense lawyer at Wallin & Klarich to learn more.
Resisting Arrest Sentencing and Punishment
The sentencing and punishment for resisting arrest in California depends upon whether the offense is charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Resisting arrest is typically charged as a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to a year in county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.
However, if you are found to have taken or attempted to take a firearm or weapon from the presence of the arresting officer, you can be charged with a felony offense punishable by 16 months, 2 or 3 years in county jail and a maximum $10,000 fine. Under California Penal Code sections 243(c)(1) and (2), a battery committed on a peace officer or EMT can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending upon the facts of your case and you prior criminal history. If you are convicted of misdemeanor battery you face up to year in county jail and a maximum $2,000 fine.
If you are convicted of felony battery you face 16 months, 2 or 3 years in county jail and a maximum $10,000 fine.
Resisting Arrest California FAQs
To help you understand the various aspects of a resisting arrest charge, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have provided answers to some of the most commonly asked questions to resisting arrest in California in our FAQ section. There you can find answers to questions, such as:
- Does resisting arrest have to be a physical action?
- Can I be convicted of resisting arrest even if the arrest itself was illegal?
- Can I be charged with resisting arrest for shouting at or being rude to an officer?
Where can I find the most Experienced California Criminal Defense Attorneys?
If you are confronted with accusations of resisting arrest, it is essential that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with such cases.
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura, Victorville and West Covina, Wallin & Klarich has successfully represented clients facing resisting arrest charges for over 30 years. We have the knowledge and the know-how to win your case.
Call us today at 877-4-NO-JAIL or fill out our confidential client information form for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.