California Penal Code 148(a) PC
PC 148(a) – Resisting Arrest
Resisting Arrest – Table of Contents
California Penal Code 148 is often referred to as resisting arrest but the law actually can punish you for:
- resisting an arrest
- delaying an arrest, either your own or someone else’s, and
- obstructing an officer from performing an arrest
You can be arrested for arrest Penal Code 148 PC if you obstruct either a police officer or an EMT (emergency medical technician).
The stereotypical resisting arrest Penal Code 148(a) case typically involves a criminal running from police after a car chase or a criminal refusing to have handcuffs placed on him/her while being arrested. However, resisting arrest Penal Code 148(a) cases can also apply to verbal assaults on police officers or EMTs or providing wrong information such as your name, date of birth, driver’s license number, etc.
Resisting arrest Penal Code 148(a) is a misdemeanor and can include:
- Up to one year in county jail
- Up to $1,000 in fine
- Informal probation term
In order for the prosecutor to prove that you’re guilty of resting arrest, he/she must prove the three elements of the crime:
- A police officer or EMT was lawfully trying to perform his/her duties
- You willfully resisted, obstructed, or delayed that person from performing their duties
- You knew or reasonably should have known that the person performing the duties was a police officer or EMT
If the prosecutor cannot definitively prove these three elements then you should not be convicted for resisting arrest Penal Code 148(a).
There are several strategies that a skilled criminal defense attorney can utilize to have your case dropped or your charges reduced. The first approach your attorney will take is look at the arrest that you resisted. If the arrest that you either resisted, delayed or obstructed was unlawful, meaning the police or EMTs were acting unlawfully then you cannot be charged for CA resisting arrest Penal Code 148.
The first element of the crime is that, a police officer (or EMT) was lawfully trying to perform his/her duties. If the police acted unlawfully then the first element of the crime will not be satisfied.
The second approach your criminal defense attorney will take is to make sure that the arresting officer did not use excessive force when arresting you; if he/she did then your attorney can prove you were acting in self-defense. California law protects its citizens from being punished for protecting themselves when violence is the only way to do so. If you were being arrested and the officer was using excessive force, and you were forced to resist in order to protect yourself, then you cannot be charged with resisting arrest Penal Code 148(a).
The next approach your criminal defense attorney will take is to try and prove that you were wrongfully arrested for CA Penal Code 148. If you were rude to a police officer or called the police officer names then you should not be charged with resisting arrest Penal Code 148(a). However, you cannot use fighting words with a police officer, or you can be charged with the crime. Your attorney will read the police report, look for eyewitnesses and listen to the recording of your arrest and investigate if you were acting unlawfully.
As previously stated, there are three elements to the crime, if the prosecutor cannot prove all three, or if your attorney can disprove one or more of the elements, then you will not be convicted.
If you or a loved one is being charged with Resisting Arrest Penal Code 148(a) in California, we invite you to contact us immediately for a free case review. Schedule an appointment to meet with us in person, or feel free to submit an evaluation online and we will get in contact with you ASAP. We can provide a free consultation in our office located in Century City, or by phone.
Our experienced and assiduous Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyers will be sure to fight until the end to reduce or drop your charges completely.
Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529
How to Win Your Case
We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:
- Don’t ever talk to the police
- Do not discuss your case with anyone
- Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
- Tell police you need to contact your attorney
- Never consent to any search by the police
- If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
- Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
- Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
- Information on your cell phone is evidence
- Early Intervention is the key