Free Consultation, Available 24/7
San Diego: 619-814-5110 | Vista: 760-814-6025
Is Resisting Arrest a Felony in California?
Resisting arrest is a serious offense in California and is one that can have serious consequences for your legal record. However, resisting arrest is not a felony in California and is only charged as a misdemeanor. Whether a person is charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the gravity of the offense and the severity of the resistance.
Whatever the case, you can definitely be charged with a crime if you resist arrest, so it’s important to understand the ramifications of resisting arrest, along with what legal rights and options you have. Partnering with a lawyer from Dod Law, APC can help you put any worries to rest while we use our 18 years of experience on your case. We will be with you every step of the way through the legal process.
What Is Resisting Arrest?
Resisting arrest occurs when someone prevents or obstructs a police officer from lawfully arresting them. This can be done through physical action, threats, or verbal statements. If you use physical force against a police officer, you are likely to be charged more seriously than if you did not, such as receiving higher fines. A misdemeanor carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail.
What Counts As Resisting Arrest in California?
According to Penal Code 148(a), resisting arrest in California is defined as willfully and unlawfully obstructing or resisting a police officer, emergency medical technician (EMT), or other public officer while they are performing their duties. This obstruction can take many forms, such as physically resisting arrest or providing false information to an officer during an investigation.
It is also illegal to use force or threats against an officer or EMT while they are attempting to make an arrest. Additionally, individuals may not incite others to resist arrest, nor should they leave the scene of a crime that they have witnessed without providing contact information. All forms of resistance against law enforcement officers will be taken seriously in California and can result in severe legal consequences.
What Are the Legal Penalties?
Resisting arrest is usually charged as a misdemeanor offense and can carry the potential punishment of up to one year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. In some cases, it’s possible to be charged with more than one count depending on the circumstances of the incident. In any case, it’s important to understand that even if someone has been wrongfully arrested, resisting arrest will almost always lead to more consequences.
Common Defenses to Resisting Arrest
In order to mount a successful defense against this charge, the defendant must prove that they had a reasonable belief that the arrest was unlawful and that their actions were necessary for self-defense. Otherwise, any attempt to resist arrest will be considered resisting arrest and the person may be charged accordingly.
Generally speaking, there are two main types of defenses: an affirmative defense and a denial. An affirmative defense concedes that the defendant did in fact commit the crime, but claims that they had a valid excuse or justification to do so. A denial is the complete opposite – it denies any responsibility for the crime in question. Depending on the specifics of your case and charges, your attorney may advise you to pursue one of these strategies or a combination of both.
Consult a Lawyer at Dod Law, APC For the Best Defense
If you are charged with a misdemeanor for resisting arrest, then you need to consult a lawyer as soon as possible, as you will need legal representation to deal with the charges.
Fortunately, you can get a good defense lawyer to help you by partnering with Dod Law, APC. Contact our firm today at (619) 814-5110 or by using our contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We can help you deal with a resisting arrest charge and minimize its impact on your life.