Definition and Aspects of Resisting Arrest:
Most citizens are aware of the fact that it is illegal to try to resist arrest. However, under California Penal Code 148(a)(1) (PC 148(a)(1)), it is also against the law to purposefully resist, obstruct, or delay law enforcement, peace officers, or emergency medical technicians in the carrying out their obligations. If convicted, this offense is punishable with jail time and severe fines.
To be convicted of California Penal Code 148(a)(1), the Prosecution must prove the following:
- The police officer, peace officer, or EMT was lawfully carrying out or attempting to carry out their official responsibilities
- The Defendant purposefully resisted, obstructed, or delayed a police officer, peace officer, or EMT
- A reasonable person would have known the police officer, peace officer, or EMT was carrying out authorized responsibilities at the time of the event
Emergency personnel is someone with a valid emergency medical technician license.
While resisting arrest is widely known as being against the law, this statute makes it illegal to do any of the following:
- Interfering with the arrival of a police officer or EMT on the scene of the incident
- Obstructing the authorities at the location of the crime
- Interfering while police are monitoring a suspect in custody
- Obstructing police interviews of witnesses
Breaking the law is not required to be convicted of this statute. If the Defendant is purposefully interfering with or obstructing the official duties of a police officer, he/she can be found guilty of California Penal Code 148(a)(1) (PC 148(a)(1)). Obstruction, for the purpose of this statute, refers to the act of inconveniencing or preventing an officer from carrying out his/her duties.
College campus security does not fall under the category of a police officer under this statute.
Criminal Offenses Related to Resisting Arrest:
Similar or related offenses to California Penal Code 148(a)(1), Resisting Arrest:
- Resisting an Executive Officer – California Penal Code 69 (PC 69)
- Assault – California Penal Code 240 (PC 240)
- Battery on a Peace Officer – California Penal Code 243(b) & 243(c) (PC 243(b)) & (PC 243(c))
Examples of Resisting Arrest:
A man is driving home from a bar. An officer pulls the man over, suspecting him of driving under the influence. However, when the police officer asks the man to exit his vehicle in order to perform on-scene sobriety tests, the man takes off running. The policeman catches up and tries detaining the man, who keeps fighting with the officer, attempting to prevent the impending arrest. Under California Penal Code 148(a)(1) (PC 148(a)(1)), the man could be charged with resisting the arrest.
Defenses to Resisting Arrest:
One of the most common defenses questions the willfulness of the actions of the Defendant. In order to be convicted of California Penal Code 148(a)(1) (PC 148(a)(1)), the burden is on the Prosecution to prove that the Defendant acted purposefully. If the interference with police activity was an accident, the case could be dismissed.
Another defense questions the validity of the probable cause. If the officer who made the arrest did not have substantial probable cause to detain or arrest, the charges could be dismissed or reduced for California Penal Code 148(a)(1) (PC 148(a)(1)).
Consequences and Penalty for Resisting Arrest:
California Penal Code 148(a)(1) (PC 148(a)(1)), resisting, obstructing, or delaying arrest is a misdemeanor. If convicted, the Defendant could be responsible for fines of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to one year.
Resisting, obstructing, or delaying arrest (PC 148(a)(1)) is very similar to California Penal Code 69 (PC 69), resisting an executive officer, however less severe. Most often, a Defendant convicted of this statute does not injure the officers or EMTs.
Resisting Arrest (PC 148(a)(1)), under California Penal Code 148(a)(1), is a misdemeanor offense. It is imperative that if you are charged with resisting, obstructing or delaying arrest, you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
For an experienced attorney in your corner, Action Lavitch from Action Defense Lawyers is available 24/7 at (747) DEFEND U or (747) 333-3638. With a proven track record and speaking both English and Spanish, Action Lavitch and the team from Action Defense Lawyers provide skilled legal representation and professional advice. Having an above 90% success rate for clients, Action Defense Lawyers is the go-to for those charged with California Penal Code Section 148(a)(1) (PC 148(a)(1)), Resisting, Obstructing, or Delaying arrest. Book a free consultation today.