Resisting Arrest

Resisting arrest is the act of interfering with or obstructing a law enforcement officer in the performance of their duties, such as making an arrest, conducting a search, or issuing a citation. In California, resisting arrest is a crime that is punishable by fines, imprisonment, and potential enhancements to other criminal charges.

Under California Penal Code section 148(a)(1), it is a crime to resist, delay, or obstruct a police officer or other law enforcement official in the performance of their duties. This includes, but is not limited to, the following acts:

  • Threatening a law enforcement officer or their family
  • Using physical force or violence against a law enforcement officer
  • Using any means to prevent a law enforcement officer from making an arrest or conducting a search
  • Refusing to follow a law enforcement officer’s lawful orders or instructions
  • Fleeing or attempting to flee from a law enforcement officer

Resisting arrest can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s criminal history. If charged as a misdemeanor, the maximum penalty is up to 1 year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If charged as a felony, the maximum penalty is up to 3 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

In addition to fines and imprisonment, a defendant convicted of resisting arrest may face additional consequences, such as a criminal record, loss of employment, and damage to their reputation. The court may also impose additional penalties if the defendant used violence or threatened violence against the law enforcement officer, or if the defendant has a prior criminal history.

It is important for individuals to cooperate with law enforcement officers and follow their lawful orders and instructions. If an individual is being arrested, they have the right to remain silent and to consult with an attorney, but they do not have the right to resist or obstruct the arrest. If charged with resisting arrest, it is advisable to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney, who can help defend against the charges and minimize the potential consequences.