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The Penalties for Resisting Arrest in California

By Criminal Defense Attorney on October 28, 2013

In the state of California, you could be charged with a crime if you have knowingly resisted, delayed or obstructed a law enforcement officer or emergency medical technician while they were performing, or attempting to perform, their duties. While this offense is commonly referred to as "resisting arrest," California Penal Code 148(a)(1) PC describes this crime as Resisting, Delaying, or Obstructing an Officer. This means that you could be charged with a crime under a number of different circumstances – not just in situations where you have resisted or evaded arrest. For example, you could be charged with this crime if you have:

  • Physically prevented an officer from placing handcuffs on you
  • Prohibited an officer from arresting another person
  • Given a false name to the officer who was questioning you
  • Refused to provide your name during the booking process
  • Attempted to flee the scene once law enforcement arrived
  • Otherwise prevented an officer from preforming their duties

If you have been arrested for resisting arrest in California, you could be facing a maximum of one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine. Although this is only a misdemeanor offense, you should not take these charges lightly. With the help of a San Diego criminal defense attorney from JD Law, you may be able to fight a conviction by proving that a) your arrest was unlawful, b) you were the victim of police misconduct, c) you were acting in self-defense and/or d) you were falsely accused of resisting arrest. Each of these factors would equip you with a viable defense against your charges, so we encourage you to fight back with the help of our firm.

To find out how a San Diego criminal defense lawyer from JD Law can assist you in fighting your criminal charges, contact our firm today for a free consultation.

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