The California crime of resisting arrest is found in Penal Code section 148. Section 148 can also charge you with delaying an arrest or obstructing an arrest. The crime of resisting arrest is frequently charged by prosecutors because many people, when arrested, put up some sort of fight, struggle, or verbal argument. Police officers know that the crime of resisting arrest will often come down to your word against theirs, thus making the case fairly easy for the government to prove.
Typical punishment of resisting arrest
Luckily, the crime of resisting arrest is not as serious as many others and will like only face up to one in year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or probation. The more serious crime of battery on a police officer is often frequently charged when an officer is actually injured in an altercation. Often times a skilled criminal defense attorney may have the crime of battery on a police officer reduced down to resisting arrest.
How the government proves a section 148 crime
The prosecutor must prove three elements of the crime of resisting arrest. A good attorney will help you fight each of the elements:
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
There are several things a reputable lawyer can do to beat resisting arrest charges. The best way to beat the charge is to challenge the arrest itself. If the arrest is deemed unlawful or constitutional, then the resisting arrest charge will likely be thrown out. Perhaps the police violated your right to be free from unreasonable searches, perhaps they arrested the wrong person, or perhaps they themselves used unlawful force.
An additional way a lawyer may fight the case is by showing the officers in question have a history of making unlawful arrests or perhaps have been caught lying under oath before. If this is the case, then your attorney will be able to call into question the officer's version of events and have the case thrown out.
Though resisting arrest is not as serious of crime as many others it is a bad one to have on your record if you have a chance of beating it. The resisting arrest charge will remain on your record and in any future contact with police they will know of your resisting history. The only way to get it off your record (once convicted) is to have an expungement attorney get the charges dismissed. But you should fight your case with a defense attorney. Call Nicco Capozzi now to beat your charges at (559) 374-2012.