Charged with Resisting Arrest in Los Angeles?
Our Los Angeles Criminal Lawyers Can Help with Resisting Arrest Charges
Are you or someone you know being accused of a crime against the police?
If so, you could find yourself between a rock and a hard place. Speak
to a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer immediately! Crimes against the
police are aggressively prosecuted in California. Many people arrested
and charged with resisting arrest presume that the prosecutor or judge
will believe their side of the story and drop the charges.
Not so! The criminal justice system in Los Angeles is not perfect and in
resisting arrest cases it can seem like the defendant is guilty until
proven innocent. Contact Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners for a free
case evaluation to learn about your legal rights and defenses and how
we can assist you. We have 70 years of legal experience!
Resisting Arrest Law in California
In California, resisting arrest is usually charged under Penal Code Section
148(a)(1). This law makes it illegal to willfully resist, delay or obstruct
public officers, peace officers or emergency medical technicians while
they are discharging any of their duties. There does not have to be physical
contact with the official in order to complete this crime.
The ways that an individual can violate this law include:
- Falsely identifying yourself during an investigation, arrest or detention
- Struggling while being handcuffed or placed in a police car
- Running away from a police officer while the officer is attempting to arrest
the individual based on lawful probable cause
- Interfering with a public safety communication radio transmission.
Violating the resisting arrest law under Penal Code Sections 148(a)(1)
and 148(a)(2) result in misdemeanor charges but if you use force or a
weapon or injure a police officer during an attempted arrest, additional and
more serious charges can be filed. Most of the additional California Penal
Code violations associated with resisting arrest can be prosecuted as
either misdemeanors or
felonies ("wobbler" offenses). They are:
- Using threats, force or violence to resist arrest
- Disarming or taking an officer's weapon while resisting arrest
- Injuring a peace officer during an arrest resulting in death or injury
Evading a police officer and evading police with reckless driving
- Battery to a police officer, firefighter or EMT
Prosecutors are more likely to charge a felony if the defendant has a significant
criminal record and the behavior during the arrest was allegedly egregious.
On the other hand, if this was your first arrest and there are mitigating
factors, e.g., the officer's injuries are minor, the prosecutor will
be more likely to charge you with a
Resisting Arrest Defenses
Resisting arrest laws in the state of California are very specific in describing
what constitutes illegal activity during an arrest. For this reason, there
are a number of different
criminal defenses can be raised to argue against such allegations.
Some of the more common defenses include:
Unlawful arrest: the resisting arrest laws do not apply to situations where the officer
does not have legal grounds to make the arrest
Self-defense: You can protect yourself from an officer who is using unreasonable force
during an attempted arrest
Police misconduct: an officer's history of falsely accusing suspects of resisting arrest
or direct evidence of same can be used to show that the officer has done
the same to you
False allegations: evidence of your actions during an arrest can be introduced to show that
the action did not rise to the level of "resisting."
If a defense applies to your arrest, there is a good possibility that a
Los Angeles criminal attorney at our firm will be able to get the charges
against you reduced or dismissed.
Penalties & Sentencing
There are several issues that will affect sentencing if you are convicted
of resisting arrest, including the Penal Code section under which the
charge was filed, and the circumstances surrounding the arrest and your
criminal record. If convicted of misdemeanor resisting arrest, you can
be sentenced up to one year in the county jail and be required to pay
a fine. A conviction for felony resisting arrest can result in up to four
years in prison, a $10,000 fine and a "strike" per California's
Three Strikes Law.
Serving Clients Throughout Southern California
A resisting arrest conviction is unlike most convictions. If you are stopped
by the police in the future and the officer discovers that you have a
conviction for resisting arrest, it is sure to turn the police encounter
into an unpleasant one. Defending against these types of charges is not
easy and requires knowledge involving specific police procedures.
The experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at our firm will
focus on the variations and deviations from proper police procedure involved
in the charges. We have defended many of these cases and have the know-how
and the experience to help you. Let us put our 70 years of combined legal
experience to work for you by calling today!
no-cost case evaluation, we invite you to
contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney
and see how we can help you.