Resisting Arrest Defense Attorney | Torrance 

What Is Resisting Arrest? | PC 148

Resisting ArrestIn California, resisting arrest is a serious offense. California Penal Code 148 (PC 148) states, “every person who willfully resists, delays, or obstructs any public officer, peace officer, or an emergency medical technician in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of his or her office or employment. Resisting arrest is usually charged as a misdemeanor and can be punishable by a maximum of one year in county jail and fines of up to $1,000. However, there are situations where resisting arrest can be charged as a felony which would increase the penalty for the offense. For instance, if you attempt to take a firearm from a police officer while resisting arrest, or commit battery on a police officer, the prosecution has the decision to charge you with either a misdemeanor or a felony. This determination is based on the circumstances of the situation and your criminal history. 

Factors That Must Be Proven | PC 148(a) 

In order for the prosecution to convict you of resisting arrest, they must prove the defendant did the following 3 elements: 

  • The defendant willfully resisted, delayed, or obstructed a public officer, peace officer, or EMT;
  • That the defendant did so at the time the officer or EMT was engaged in or attempting to perform his or her duties; and
  • The defendant knew or should have known they were resisting, delaying, or obstructing the officer or EMT during their duties.    

Resisting Arrest Punishments | What You’re Facing 

As mentioned above, there are different penalties and punishments for resisting arrest, and they are determined by the circumstances of the specific incident and the defendant’s criminal history. 

PC 148(a)

If you are facing charges for PC 148(a) resisting arrest the possible penalties include: 

  • Imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year; and/or 
  • A maximum fine of up to $1,000 

PC 148(b), (c), & (d) | Removing A Weapon While Resisting 

PC 148(b) is considered a “wobbler” offense and is more serious than 148(a). It is a “wobbler” because the prosecution can charge it as a misdemeanor or felony and the penalties depend on the circumstances of the incident. Under PC 148(b), any person who removes a weapon, other than a firearm, from the person of, or immediate presence of, a public officer or peace officer shall be punished by: 

If charged as a misdemeanor 

  • Imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year; and/or
  • A maximum fine of up to $1,000

If charged with a felony

  • Imprisonment in state prison for 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years; and/or
  • A maximum fine of up to $10,000

PC 148(c) is a felony offense and cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor. Under PC 148(c), any person who removes or takes a firearm from the person of, or immediate presence of, a public officer or peace officer shall be punished by:

  • Imprisonment in state prison for 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years; and/or 
  • A maximum fine of up to $10,000

PC 148(d) is a “wobbler” offense and any person who removes or takes without intent to permanently deprive, or who attempts to remove or take a firearm from the person of, or immediate presence of, a public officer or peace officer, while the officer is engaged in the performance of his or her duties shall be punished by:  

If charged as a misdemeanor 

  • Imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year; and/or
  • A maximum fine of up to $1,000

If charged with a felony

  • Imprisonment in state prison for 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years; and/or
  • A maximum fine of up to $10,000

*Note that many of the felony charges will allow the defendant to serve part of their sentence on felony probation

PC 243(c)(1) & (2) | Battery While Resisting Arrest 

Under PC 243(c)(1), when battery is committed against a peace officer that is not  a police officer, whether on or off duty, and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer, shall be punished by:

If charged as a misdemeanor

  • Imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year; and/or 
  • A maximum fine of up to $2,000

If charged with a felony 

  • Imprisonment in a county jail for 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years; and/or
  • A maximum fine of up to $10,000 

Under PC 243(c)(2), when battery is committed against a police officer, whether on or off duty, and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a police officer, shall be punished by:

If charged as a misdemeanor

  • Imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year; and/or 
  • A maximum fine of up to $10,000

If charged with a felony

  • Imprisonment in state prison for 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years; and/or 
  • A maximum fine of up to $10,000

*Note that if the battery committed against the police officer results in great bodily injury or serious injury then the judge can add up to an additional 6 years to the sentence.

Fight Back | Possible Defenses Against Resisting Arrest Charges 

If you are charged with resisting arrest in Torrance, you may feel like there is no way you can win your case. The thought of your word against the officers makes many people believe that they have a slim to no chance of winning their case. However, with an experienced attorney at Wallin & Klarich defending you every step of the way, you can feel confident that it will not just be you against the officer. We will do everything we can to fight for your freedom and your exoneration. Ultimately it is not what the peace officers say that will put you in jail, it is what the prosecution can prove to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt. 

 

We have spent 40+ years utilizing effective defense strategies to help our clients get the results they were looking for. We understand how each defense works and what is likely to give you the best chance to win your case. Here are a few of the most common defenses for resisting arrest. 

Unlawful Arrest 

One defense to a resisting arrest charge is that your arrest was unlawful. A peace officer is not lawfully performing his or her duties if they are unlawfully restraining or detaining someone. This means if the peace officer is using excessive or unnecessary force to perform their duties then claiming the arrest was unlawful may be a valid defense for resisting arrest. Also, if the peace officer makes an arrest that was not based on probable cause or conducted a search without a warrant then the arrest may be unlawful because your legal rights were violated. A good defense attorney will ask about the specific events between their client and the peace officers and look for details that may point to an unlawful arrest. 

Self-Defense 

A person is justified in resisting an arrest if the defense attorney is able to show the person was acting in self-defense. Like any self-defense claim, there must be a reasonable belief that the other person was attempting to use excessive force and it was necessary to act in self-defense to prevent serious harm from occurring to you. It must also be proven that the force you used in self-defense was reasonable and proportionate to the amount of force being used against you.

For example, a peace officer is attempting to unlawfully put Dom in handcuffs and punches Dom during the act but is not using any weapons. Dom cannot use a gun to defend himself and try to claim it was self-defense, even if the arrest was unlawful. The jury will likely find this as an unreasonable amount of force for self-defense, and not proportional to the force being used against Dom. If Dom defended himself by pushing or punching the officer rather than using a gun it may be likely that a jury would find the self-defense to be reasonable and proportionate to the amount of force the officer was using against Dom.

Lack Of Knowledge 

Lack of knowledge has been a successful defense used in our past cases. Part of what defines PC 148(a) is that the defendant acted willfully during the commission of resisting arrest. Another solid defense to resisting arrest is that the defendant lacked the knowledge that the person arresting them was a peace officer. In other words, if you did not know or had no reason to know that the person arresting you was a peace officer you should not be convicted of resisting arrest. For example, if a police officer is wearing street clothes and attempts to arrest Dom without revealing his identity as a police officer. Dom runs away because he believes it is someone trying to rob him. Dom is not willfully resisting arrest because he did not know the person was a police officer. Also, Dom would not have any reason to know because the officer was in street clothes. 

You Did Not Resist Arrest

The three defenses above are all similar in the aspect that the defendant is admitting to resisting arrest but had a valid reason for doing so. This defense however does not admit to resisting arrest but rather takes the approach that you are being charged for a crime that you never committed. If you are charged with resisting arrest for actions that did not amount to resisting, delaying, or obstructing the officer in the performance of their duties then this defense will likely be your best option. Being rude or uncooperative during the course of an arrest is not enough to justify that you were resisting arrest. The arresting officer might add this charge because they did not like the fact that you were not cooperating with every command they made. An experienced defense attorney at Wallin & Klarich can help you avoid these unnecessary charges by investigating the facts of your case to prove your innocence.   

Hiring A Resisting Arrest Defense Attorney | How We Can Help You 

It is crucial to hire the best attorney you can find when dealing with resisting arrest charges. Nobody wants to put their future in the hands of a lawyer who is not going to give them the effort they deserve, which is why Wallin & Klarich has proven an excellent choice to many. We have the experience, commitment to our clients, an outstanding track record, and are respected and recognized by many throughout Southern California. 

Wallin & Klarich | 40+ Years Of Experience Defending Resisting Arrest Charges 

Here at Wallin & Klarich, our team of highly trained attorneys have over 40 years of experience successfully representing clients who are accused of resisting arrest. This unparalleled experience does not only mean we are competent in every aspect of criminal law associated with resisting arrest, but also in handling each case with the same amount of effort that is required to win. We know the local courthouses and prosecutors, which is important when it comes to tailoring a defense. We know each prosecutor’s tendencies and their willingness to lower or drop charges, as well as what types of defenses work best in particular courthouses. 

24/7 Communication With Your Attorney | The Wallin & Klarich Way 

Wallin and KlarichAt Wallin & Klarich, we believe our commitment to each individual client is what sets us apart from the rest of the field. Oftentimes, clients will only have a vague idea of what is going on in their case and we believe that our clients deserve to know every detail and situation that arises in their case. We have an on-call criminal defense attorney ready to take your call, even after hours, to ensure all your questions and concerns are answered as quickly as possible. Our communication and transparency have led us to many favorable outcomes and have left many clients happy and satisfied when all is said and done. We believe all our clients are innocent when they come to us and will treat you with the respect that you and your loved ones deserve. 

Track Record of Success | Wallin & Klarich History Of Winning Cases 

We believe many people retain us to defend them in criminal cases because of our record of success in the courtroom. Yes, our communication is something we take pride in but at the end of the day, we want our clients to get what they are looking for, and that is to win their case. We are confident in our abilities to provide the best possible outcome in your case and we have the history to back it up. Take a look at some of our most notable cases and outcomes on our page. 

Reputation & Ethos | Wallin & Klarich A Reputation You Want On Your Side 

Wallin & Klarich is recognized throughout the community as a team with strong values and legal expertise. We have spent over 40 years building our reputation by giving our best efforts to satisfy all our clients and win their cases. Words mean nothing if the outcome of your case is below our expectations. We invite you to read some of our recent wins in the courtroom so you can decide that we are the team for you. 

Free Consultation | Give Us A Call! 

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, and Los Angeles, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense lawyer available near you who can aggressively defend you. If you or a loved one is facing resisting arrest charges, give us a call and we will do all we can to help you win your case. 

Call us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation and see why we have been the go-to resisting arrest defense attorney in Torrance for more than 40 years! 

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