Resisting Arrest

Practice Areas

Resisting Arrest Criminal Defense Attorneys

Under California Penal Code 148(a), anyone 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, when no other punishment is prescribed, can be charged with a misdemeanor and if convicted shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.

Under California Penal Code 69, if resisting involved use of force or violence by the defendant, there could be a felony charge of resisting arrest and may face up to 3 years in state prison and/or up to $10,000 fine.

Defenses to Resisting Arrest or Obstruction of Justice

There are many defenses available to resisting arrest. For instance, if the attempted arrest or home search by the poloice was illegal and not based on probable cause, the resulting charge of resisting arrest could be dismissed. Also, the police may not use excessive force to effectuate an arrest. They must use reasonable and necessary force to do so. If unreasonable force was being used, the fact that you impeded that effort cannot be used as a basis to file resisting arrest charges.

Obviously, even if the police use excessive force, your response to that must be reasonable. For instance if the handcuffs are done too tight on purpose, you can’t kick the officer in the face and break his nose. If you do, you could be charged with assault on a peace officer per PC 243(b) and resisting arrest per PC 148(a) as a misdemeanor or even PC 69 as a felony.

If excessive force was used or if your arrest was illegal, often, criminal defense attorneys in California use a motion called the Pitchess Motion to discover the records of discipline or misconduct on the part of the officers involved. Pitchess Motions are important both in defending a criminal case and in plea bargains. If hits are found on the officer of other people’s complaints or of falsified reports or use of excessive force, that information may be used in your defense at the preliminary hearing or jury trial.

If charged with a felony resisting arrest, an available defense is that you didn’t use force or violence or the force used was reasonable under the circumstances or that it was as a result of an accident or unintentional act by you. For instance if you raise your hand to point to something or if you are moving around because you are distressed due to injury to a loved one and in the process an officer is scratched in the face, there is no intent to harm or injure. This was a mere accident and may be alleged as a valid defense.

If you have been charged with resisting arrest or battery on a peace officer, you should get ready for a long battle with the LAPD or the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. They don’t easily budge on these cases. That’s why it is important to have an experienced attorney handle your defense. Call us know for a free case analysis and review.

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Criminal prosecution can affect your health, freedom, employment, and social life. You need help and you need the best criminal defense you can get. At the Law Offices of Tony M. Seyfi, with the state of the art computerized legal research tools and forensic techniques, we will focus on identifying the defenses you may have and will develop numerous challenges to any crime possible.

Our goal is victory for our clients and to keep them from going to jail, and we are confident of our defense strategies. If you would like to discuss your case, call us today for a FREE CONSULTATION and case analysis.

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