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California Penal Code § (Section) 148(a)(1) – Resisting Arrest

California Penal Code § (Section) 148(a)(1) – Resisting Arrest

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California Penal Code (CPC) §148(a)(1)Resisting Arrest – The crime of Resisting Arrest occurs in California whenever a person resists or delays officers who're performing duties of their positions.      Section 148(a)(1) also applies to efforts to prevent emergency technicians from doing their jobs.

CPC §148(a)(1) is punishable as a Misdemeanor. If you're convicted of Resisting Arrest, you face up        to one year in a county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both a fine and imprisonment.[1] However, since Resisting Arrest is related to several offenses, charges under §148(a)(1) are often used as the basis       for plea bargaining agreements. (See “Plea Bargaining,” below.)

What Does California Penal Code §148(a)(1) (Resisting Arrest) Prohibit?

In sum, to be guilty of Resisting Arrest under California Penal Code §148(a)(1), you must:

  • Delay or obstruct an officer or emergency services technician; AND,
  • Act while that person is performing a duty of his or her job; AND,
  • Know or be reasonably aware that the person is an officer or emergency services technician.

Defining “Resisting Arrest” Under California Penal Code §148(a)(1)

To convict you under CPC §148(a)(1), the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Willfully[2]: You intended on doing whatever was necessary to break the law; AND,
  • Resisted,[3] Delayed, Or Obstructed: You did something specific[4] that could've prevented an officer or emergency services technician from performing his or her responsibilities[5]; AND,
  • Officer or Emergency Services Technician: You resisted a police officer,[6] public officer,[7] peace officer[8] or emergency services technician[9]; AND;
  • Performing Lawful Responsibilities: You interfered with the officer or emergency services technician while he or she was performing the lawful duties[10] of his or her position; AND,   
  • Knew Or Reasonably Should've Known: You knew, or reasonably should've known, that you were interfering with an officer or emergency services technician.

Example: Defendant Deena is driving along when she witnesses an accident. She gets out of her car just as an ambulance driven by a uniformed EMT, Victim Vinnie, arrives at the scene. Vinnie goes to provide medical care to one of the persons hurt in the accident. Deena, who is a medical student, lingers at his back and watches his every move. While Deena doesn't cause Vinnie to do anything incorrectly, he's annoyed at having someone look over his shoulder while he works. When police arrive, Vinnie reports Deena for violating CPC §148(a)(1). Should Deena be convicted of the charge?

Conclusion: While Vinnie was a uniformed emergency services technician who arrived on the scene to perform duties associated with his job (that is, providing medical care to a person hurt in an accident), and Deena knew who Vinnie was, she didn't do anything specific to obstruct Vinnie's work. She stood and watched, something Vinnie found annoying but which was understandable, given that Deena was a medical student. Since she made no effort to willfully delay, obstruct, or resist Vinnie's duties, Deena shouldn't be convicted of violating CPC §148(a)(1).     

Penalties Under California Penal Code §148(a)(1)

CPC §148(a)(1) will be punished as a Misdemeanor. If convicted of violating §148(a)(1), you face up to one (1) year in a county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars), or both a fine and prison.[11]

Misdemeanor Probation is possible, allowing you to serve some of your sentence outside of jail, but it may be revoked if you do something to violate you're the terms of your probation.

Defenses To California Penal Code §148(a)(1) – Resisting Arrest

The Arrest Wasn't Lawful

Example: Victim Viktor, a police officer, was recently left by his wife, Defendant Dina. Viktor believes he can save the marriage. He tries to contact Dina but Dina won't answer his calls or return his texts. One afternoon, Viktor, who's in uniform and driving his cruiser, sees Dina walking down the street. He stops his car, gets out, and demands that she talk with him. Dina refuses and continues walking. Viktor becomes furious and arrests her for Resisting Arrest. Should Dina be convicted under CPC §148(a)(1)?  

Conclusion: Viktor, a police officer, was on duty when he encountered Dina, as he was driving his official vehicle and wearing his uniform. Dina would've known this. Dina also intentionally tried to leave Viktor on the street, a willful act that could be characterized as something done to “resist” Viktor. However, Viktor had no legal right or duty to stop Dina; he wanted to talk with her about their marriage, which is a completely private problem. Dina, therefore, wasn't resisting lawful arrest. She shouldn't be convicted under CPC §148(a)(1).      

You Were Defending Yourself Or Someone Else

Example: Defendant Davidia is driving down the street when she sees Victim Viktor, a police officer, seizing a woman by the arm and pulling her into his cruiser. The woman yells, “I'm leaving him but he won't stop following me! SOMEBODY, HELP!” Viktor yells, “You're coming back home! Now!” Davidia stops her car, gets out, and leaps onto Viktor's back, forcing him to release the woman. She runs to safety but Viktor arrests Davidia for violating CPC §148(a)(1). Should Davidia be convicted of the crime?

Conclusion: Here, again, Viktor, a uniformed police officer, tries to prevent his wife from leaving him by approaching her on the street. Here, again, Davidia would know that he is an officer of the law. Jumping onto Viktor's back was an obvious effort to “delay” Viktor or to “obstruct” him altogether. All of this supports conviction. Viktor, however, had no right to detain his wife, which Davidia could reasonably conclude from their shouting. She was defending Viktor's wife. This is why she attacked Viktor - not because she was resisting arrest. Davidia, therefore, shouldn't be convicted of violating CPC §148(a)(1).        

The Accusation Is False

Example: Victim Vera, a uniformed State Parks Ranger, runs into a camper who's starting an illegal fire. Vera thinks she's seen the camper before but has only a vague memory of which site is his. As she approaches the camper, he turns and runs. Vera still doesn't get a good look at him, or his clothes, so she takes a Parks truck and drives around until she finds a campsite that seems familiar. The campsite is actually the one next to the camper she's seeking. The site she approaches is occupied by Defendant Derek. Vera accuses him of starting the fire and resisting arrest. He protests, saying he did neither, but Vera has him arrested for violating CPC §148(a)(1). Should Derek be convicted?  

Conclusion: While there's a case to be made for Resisting Arrest under these facts, it isn't against Derek. Vera, a uniformed public officer (a Ranger with the Parks Department), approached a man who should reasonably have known that Vera was an officer. He resisted an arrest that was part of Vera's job (since the arrest related to an illegal fire set in the park) by running from her. All of this was done willfully. The problem is that Derek had nothing to do with any of it. He didn't resist an arrest because he was never approached by Vera, making the accusation false. Derek should be acquitted of violating CPC §148(a)(1).   

Plea Bargaining & CPC §148(a)(1)

As CPC §148(a)(1) is related to several other offenses, Resisting Arrest is often the starting point for plea bargains in California criminal court. A plea bargain allows someone accused of a particular crime to confess to another offense, often something less serious. When CPC§148(a)(1) is the charge, pleas are often accepted involving Disturbing The Peace (CPC §415) or Trespass (CPC §602).             

Plea bargains aren't always initiated by defendants, though that is usually the case. A plea can be easier, less embarrassing, and cheaper for the defendant. It can also be desirable if the facts of the case aren't particularly kind to the defense. However, a prosecutor may agree to a defense attorney's offer and reduce a charge in exchange for a defendant agreeing to plead guilty to a particular charge because the prosecutor determines that he or she doesn't stand a good chance of winning the case.

Plea bargains can take a long time and can be expensive– and, even then, the judge will have to accept your plea as being “in the interests of justice.” Remember, a good defense attorney can convince a prosecutor to accept a plea bargain because you have no prior record, or because you're young, or were provoked, or simply because it isn't “in the interests of justice” to make you face a different charge.    

If you have questions regarding plea bargaining, don't hesitate to get more information on Alternative Sentencing from the Kann California Defense Group's website.    

 

 

Related Offenses

Note: The crimes below are described as “related” because they're frequently charged together and/or have common elements that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

The California Penal Code contains several offenses related to Resisting Arrest:  Obstructing Or Resisting An Executive Officer (CPC §69), Battery On A Peace Officer (CPC §243), Misdemeanor Evading Arrest (California Vehicle Code (CVC) §2800.1), Felony Reckless Evading (CVC §2800.2), Presenting False Identification To A Police Officer (CPC §148.9), Making A False Report Of A Crime (CPC §148.5), Wearing A Mask To Evade Police (CPC §185), Making False Reports (CPC §§148.3 and 148.4), and Assault (CPC §240).  

Obstructing Or Resisting A Peace Officer

California's law against Obstructing Or Resisting A Peace Officer (CPC §69(a)) applies whenever a person tries to deter or prevent an “executive officer”[12] from performing job duties through threat or violence.     As with CPC §148, there are limitations on the application of the law. It's isn't illegal to take a picture of an executive officer performing duties, for example, so long as you have a right to be present.[13]  You also have the right to resist a peace officer is he or she is making an illegal arrest or using excessive force.[14]

If you're convicted of Obstructing Or Resisting A Peace Officer, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to one (1) year in a county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $10,000 (ten-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[15]

You can always find more information on the Evading An Officer page of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer. That's guaranteed.

California Criminal Jury Instructions

To convict you under CPC §69, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You unlawfully used force or threat to resist an executive officer performing his or her lawful duty and you knew the officer was performing his or her duty when you acted.

Example: Defendant Denise's next door neighbor sells cocaine. She has an agreement to warn the man if police appear in their apartment complex; in exchange, he pays her. One day, a uniformed police officer, Victim Valentina, enters the complex and heads directly for the neighbor's door. Denise coughs loudly and gestures for Valentina to come closer to her door instead. Denise then whispers, “I wouldn't. He don't like unexpected guests, lady.” Valentina concludes that Denise is trying to obstruct her and arrests Denise for violating CPC §69. Should Denise be convicted of the charge?

Conclusion: Denise stopped Valentina, a uniformed officer, on her way to the door of a man Denise knew to be a cocaine dealer. We can presume Denise interrupted Valentina's progress to prevent Valentina from confronting her neighbor, who pays Denise for the assistance, over a matter that relates to Valentina's lawful duty. Denise also would've known that Valentina was a peace officer when she stopped Valentina and whispered to her. However, Denise didn't actually threaten Valentina or use force; she just made a suggestion. But the statute requires use of force or threat, if it's to be violated. Denise, therefore, shouldn't be convicted under CPC §69.  

Battery On A Peace Officer

 

CPC §243 contains two prominent sections relevant to committing Battery On A Peace Officer. The first, Section 243(b), applies if you commit Battery against a person who's employed in any one of a list of professions[16] when you know (or reasonably should know) that he or she is performing job duties.

If you're convicted under CPC §243(b), the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to one (1) year in county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[17]

The second section, CPC §243(c), applies to any person who commits a Battery resulting in injury[18] to a person listed in the Section.[19] Again, the person battered must be engaged in lawful performance of his or her job duties when the battery occurs, and you must know (or reasonably should know) that that person is doing his or her job at the time.

If you're convicted under CPC §243(c), which is a Felony, the penalty may be:

  • A term of sixteen (16) months, two (2) years, or three (3) years in a county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $2,000 (two-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[20]

Note: The victim doesn't have to be on duty at the time the Battery occurs.[21] If the victim is in a police uniform and performing job duties but working on a private part-time basis as a security guard, the statute still applies.[22] Finally, there's another relevant section, CPC §243(d), which deals solely with inflicting serious injury.[23]

You can find more information on the Evading An Officer of page of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer. That's always guaranteed.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Battery On A Peace Officer

To convict you under CPC §243, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

The alleged victim was a peace officer performing the duties of a peace offıcer. You willfully and unlawfully touched the officer in a harmful or offensive manner. Finally, when you acted, you knew, or reasonably should've known, that the offıcer was a peace officer who was performing his or her duties.

Example: Defendant Donna goes to a pool with her child. At one point she leaves to go to the restroom. While inside the restroom, her child leaps into the pool and hits her head on the bottom. The Lifeguard, Victim Vinton, a City Parks employee in ordinary dress, pulls her from the pool and begins to attend to the child's cut. Donna emerges from the bathroom a moment later and finds Vinton clenching her child in a secure grip. She immediately attacks Vinton. Vinton calls out for a police officer, who appears and arrests Donna for Battery On A Peace Officer under CPC §243. Should Donna be convicted of the crime?

Conclusion: Donna used violence to prevent an executive officer (a City Parks employee hired to provide safety services) from performing duties of his job, since, as a Lifeguard, he was to care for all persons injured in the pool. However, it's unclear whether she was acting unlawfully at the time, since she was trying to protect her daughter from the embrace of a strange man. Furthermore, it's not clear whether Donna should've known Vinton was performing his duties when she saw him, since he wasn't wearing attire normally associated with a lifeguard. Therefore, given that reasonable doubts should always be resolved in the defendant's favor in the United States, Donna shouldn't be convicted of violating §243.

Misdemeanor Evading Arrest

 

The state law regarding Misdemeanor Evading Arrest can be found in the California Vehicle Code (CVC) §2800.1. Section 2800.1 applies whenever anyone,” while operating a motor vehicle and with the intent to evade, willfully flees or otherwise attempts to elude a pursuing peace officer's motor vehicle.”[24] The statute actually requires willful or wanton disregard for safety[25] in addition to all of five different facts being established at trial.[26]

If you're convicted under CVC §2800.1, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to one (1) year in a county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars);[27] OR,
  • Both imprisonment and a fine.[28]

You can always find more information on the Evading An Officer page of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer. That's our guarantee.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Misdemeanor Evading Arrest

To convict you under CVC §2800.1, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

A peace officer driving a motor vehicle was pursuing you. You, also driving a motor vehicle, willfully

fled, intending to evade the officer. During the pursuit, you drove with disregard for persons or property. There was at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front of the officer's vehicle, you saw (or reasonably should've seen) the lamp, the officer's vehicle was sounding a siren as necessary, the officer's vehicle was distinctively marked,[29] and the officer was wearing a distinctive uniform.[30]

Example: Defendant Dennis stops his Jaguar beside a black Ford at an intersection. He looks over and sees Victim Verne, a police officer in jeans and a T-shirt, at the wheel. The car has the logo of the City on the hood but Dennis isn't convinced that Verne is a police officer and drives off at high speed. Verne puts a bright red, flashing police light on the dashboard and hits a siren mounted above the driver's side rear view mirror, making a 130 decibel noise. He pursues Dennis until Dennis hits a mailbox and stops. Verne presents his badge; Dennis, who's still not convinced he's dealing with a police officer, drives off again. Verne later has him arrested for Evading Arrest under CVC §2800.1. Should Dennis be convicted?

Conclusion: Dennis willfully drove away from Verne's pursuit and Verne is a peace officer. We can also assume that Dennis intended on evading Verne when he drove away. There was a red lamp visible and a very loud siren sounding from Verne's vehicle. Furthermore, there was a design on the hood that clearly indicated that the Ford was City property. Dennis also destroyed a mailbox, which is likely government property, during the chase. But Verne (who was wearing street clothes when Dennis saw him, both behind the wheel, and later) did nothing more than present Dennis with a badge. That isn't enough to establish a “distinctive uniform” under §2800.1. Dennis, therefore, shouldn't be convicted of the crime.

Felony Reckless Evading

 

Felony Reckless Driving (CVC §2800.2) applies in the same circumstances as CVC §2800.1, with the major difference being that CVC §2800.2 applies to driving with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety[31] of persons or property” (emphasis added). The Sections have much in common, including definitions, with one significant difference: sentencing. As a Felony, CVC §2800.2 involves the possibility of more serious punishment and a term in state prison.

If you're convicted under CVC §2800.2, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to one (1) year in state prison or a county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $10,000 (ten-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[32]

Note: “Wanton disregard” doesn't require proving you intended on hurting anyone or destroying anything.[33]

You can find more information on the Evading An Officer page of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer. That's always our guarantee.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Felony Reckless Evading      

To convict you under CVC §2800.2, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

A peace officer driving a motor vehicle was pursuing you. You, also driving a motor vehicle, willfully and wantonly fled, intending to evade the officer. During the pursuit, you drove with disregard for persons or property. There was at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front of the officer's vehicle, you saw (or reasonably should've seen) the lamp, the officer's vehicle was sounding a siren as necessary, the officer's vehicle was distinctively marked, and the officer was wearing a distinctive uniform.

Example: Defendant Darrell is drunkenly driving his SUV late one night. He runs a stop light, then a stop sign, but pays them no mind. He runs through yet another light, which is when a uniformed police officer, Victim Vanya, sitting in a marked cruiser, sees him, flips on her red lights, engages her siren at a level of 120 decibels and pursues Darrell. Darrell sees and hears the vehicle and accelerates. He doesn't realize that he's coming close to another intersection. He drives through the intersection and runs flush into a minivan, killing three of the four occupants,[34] as Vanya stops alongside Darrell's vehicle and arrests him for Felony Reckless Evading under CVC §2800.2. Should Darrell be convicted of the offense?    

Conclusion: Darrell, knowing that he was being pursued by a marked cruiser and later being approached by a uniformed police officer, attempted to avoid being stopped by accelerating after Vanya turned on her lights and siren. He then ran into a minivan and killed three people. This makes his driving “wanton.” Since Darrell knew what he was doing all the while (making his actions “willful”), he should be convicted of violating CVC §2800.2.[35]

Presenting False Identification To A Police Officer

California's statute on Presenting False Identification To A Police Officer (CPC §148.9) makes it a crime for anyone lawfully arrested or detained to identify him- or herself as someone that person isn't or as someone who doesn't exist. The basic law (CPC §148.9(a)) applies if you're dealing with officers listed in CPC 830.1 (including police officers), CPC 830.2 (including California Highway Patrol (CHP) and campus police), or CPC 830.33 (including Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police and harbor law enforcement).

If you're convicted under CPC §148.9, a Misdemeanor, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to six (6) months in a county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[36]

Note: You can only violate CPC §148.9 if you present false identification “to evade the process of the court [ ] or to evade [ ] proper identification of [yourself] by [an] investigating officer.”[37]

You can find more information on the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will always go directly to a lawyer. We guarantee it.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Presenting False Identification To A Police Officer

To convict you under CPC §148.9(a), the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You falsely represented or identified yourself as another person (or a fictional person) to a peace officer. You were being lawfully detained or arrested at the time. Finally, you gave false identification to evade process of the court or to evade proper identification by the officer.

Example: A shopper, Defendant Dan, is standing in the deli line inside a grocery store. Ahead of him is a uniformed police officer, Victim Vincent, who's waiting to pick up sandwiches for police in his Precinct. The deli Manager announces the name of the next person to be served. Dan, who isn't that person, pretends to be the customer and tries to get to the head of the line. The customer whose name was announced protests. Vincent demands Dan's ID before allowing him past. Dan continues to claim that he's the customer. Vincent arrests him for violating CPC §148.9. Should Dan be convicted of the crime?   

Conclusion: Dan misrepresented his identity when he declared to Vincent that he was the next customer to be served. (This is clearly true, considering that the actual customer was present when Dan did it.) Vincent is also a “police officer” as defined within CPC §830.1. However, Dan wasn't being detained for any lawful purpose, or being arrested, at the time; Vincent was just responding to the objections of a customer. Vincent didn't have a warrant, nor had had he witnessed a crime (which would've excused the need for a warrant), nor was he investigating anything illegal. Dan shouldn't be convicted under CPC §148.9(a) even if he gave another customer's name to prevent Vincent from properly identifying him.

Making A False Report Of A Crime

Making A False Report Of A Crime (CPC §148.5) is itself a crime in California. The basic law (§ 148.5(a)) makes it illegal to falsely report that a misdemeanor or felony has been committed. The false report must be made to one of the officials listed in the Code Section.[38] There are several subparts making        it a crime to register other false reports, such as falsely reporting to a grand jury,[39] but you must know that the report is untrue when you make it to violate the law.

If you're convicted of violating CPC §148.5(a), a Misdemeanor, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to six (6) months in a county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[40]

Note: The statute does not apply to anyone required by law to report known (or suspected) child abuse, elder abuse, or the abuse of a dependent adult.[41]

You can find more information on the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer. We guarantee it.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Making False Report Of A Crime

To convict you under CPC § 148.5(a), the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You reported to a peace officer that a felony or misdemeanor had been committed and you knew the report was false.

Example:  A member of the “Guardian Angels,” Defendant Danica, walks through a strange neighborhood one night and overhears two people talking. One identifies a particular local resident as the perpetrator of a burglary that recently occurred in the neighborhood. The other person agrees. Danica reports the story to a police officer, Victim Vilhelm, who investigates. He finds that the report is false. Vilhelm arrests Danica for violating CPC §148.5(a). Should Danica be convicted?

Conclusion: While Danica made a report of a felony crime (a burglary), and made that report to a peace officer covered by the statute, Danica was in a strange neighborhood when she overheard two unknown people talking and decided to report a rumor. In other words, Danica didn't actually know that the report was false when she made it. Danica, therefore, shouldn't be convicted of violating CPC §148.5(a).

Wearing A Mask To Evade Police

CPC §185 (Wearing A Mask To Evade Police) makes it a crime to wear a mask, “false whiskers, or any personal disguise (whether complete or partial)”[42] to evade identification or conceal yourself while fleeing from a crime. The statute actually applies to “[e]vading or escaping discovery, recognition, […] identification, [...] [c]oncealment, flight, or escape, when [anyone is] charged with, arrested for, or convicted of, any public offense.”[43]

If you're convicted under CPC §185, a Misdemeanor, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to six (6) months in a county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[44]

You can find more information on the Evading An Officer page of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer. We always guarantee it.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Wearing A Mask To Evade Police

To convict you under CPC §185, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You wore a mask, false whiskers, or a personal disguise (whether it was complete or partial) to evade identification while committing a crime or to conceal yourself when you were fleeing from a crime.

Example: Defendant Deirdre wears a masked costume to a Halloween parade. She begins to argue with the person beside her after only a few blocks. Their argument escalates into a fist fight. The two brawl in front of a police officer, Victim Violet, but Deirdre only loses her mask in front of the person she fought. Violet can't arrest Deirdre because she doesn't recognize Deirdre's face. Deirdre's features are reported by the other person in the fight and Deirdre is arrested. Should Deirdre be charged with violating §185?

Conclusion: Deirdre didn't “wear a mask to evade” Violet. The mask wasn't worn to allow Deirdre to commit, or escape from, a crime; it was holiday parade attire which she happened to be wearing when she got into a fight. Deirdre, therefore, shouldn't be convicted under §185.

Making False Reports (CPC §148.3)

California has two statutes related to the crime of Making False Reports. The first, CPC §148.3, applies whenever a person reports an “emergency” to “any city, county, city and county, or state department, district, agency, division, commission, or board,”[45] knowing the report is false.

“Emergency” has a very specific definition[46] but Section 148.3 doesn't apply to “a report made or caused to be made by a parent, guardian, or lawful custodian of a child […] based on a good faith belief that the child is missing.”[47]   

If you're convicted of violating CPC §148.3(a), the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to one (1) year in county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both a fine and imprisonment.[48]

Note: If you're convicted of violating CPC §148.3, you can be made to pay the reasonable costs of any emergency response.[49]

You can find more information on the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer. That's a guarantee.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Making False Reports (CPC §148.3)

To convict you under CPC §148.3, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You reported an emergency to a government agency or department and you knew the report was false.

Example: Defendant Divine is a passenger aboard an evening cruise. She doesn't want to be there and has asked the Captain to turn the cruise around so she can disembark but the Captain has refused. Now, desperate, Divine decides to make a report that one of the passengers has fallen overboard and can't be found, hoping that this will result in a shortened trip. She tells the Captain; the Captain calls the Coast Guard, which sends a rescue vessel to the reported location. Soon they realize it was a hoax. Divine is reported and arrested for violating §148.3 when the boat docks. Should she be convicted of the crime?

Conclusion: A Coast Guard vessel qualifies as a government craft under the “Emergency” section of the statute and the Coast Guard itself is obviously a government department. Here, Divine didn't want to be on the cruise, so she made a false report in the hope that the report would cut the cruise short. When the government vessel responded, the report became an “emergency,” for purposes of the statute. She knew the report was false when she made it; Divine, therefore, should be convicted of violating §148.3.   

Making False Reports (CPC §148.4)

The second California statute on Making False Reports, CPC §148.4, applies whenever anyone tampers with fire equipment[50] or makes a false report of a fire. The basic law (§148.4(a)) applies to “willful and malicious” acts, meaning that you had to intend on making a false report. A more serious version of the offense is created in Section (b), which applies if the false report leads to death or great bodily injury.[51]

If you're convicted of violating CPC §148.4(a), a Misdemeanor, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to one (1) year in a county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both imprisonment and a fine.[52]

You can find more information on the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer. We guarantee it.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Making False Reports (CPC §148.4)

To convict you under CPC §148.4, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You maliciously tampered with fire equipment (as defined in the statute) or made a false report of a fire.

Example: A first-year college student, Defendant Davey, isn't prepared for his Organic Chemistry final exam. He goes to the campus Chemistry building on the morning of the exam. He waits outside the classroom until the students are assembled and the test is about to begin. Then he pulls the fire alarm and runs away. A security camera reveals all after the Fire Department responds and determines that there's no fire. Davey's soon arrested by campus police. Should he be convicted of violating CPC §148.4?

Conclusion: Davey made the report to the Fire Department that protected his college just to get out of taking a difficult exam. He knew his report was false when he made it, which makes his act “malicious.” He intended on what he did; it was “willful.” Davey should, therefore, be convicted of violating §148.4.

Assault

California law on Assault (CPC §240) makes it unlawful to attempt to “commit a violent injury” [53] on another person. The actual Assault need not involve any touching of the victim and the prosecution doesn't have to prove that touching occurred.[54] However, even slight touching (including touching someone through the clothing) can be enough for an Assault.[55] The touching can occur indirectly.[56]

If you're convicted of violating CPC §240, a Misdemeanor, the penalty may be:

  • A term of up to six (6) months in the county jail; OR,
  • A fine of up to $1,000 (one-thousand dollars); OR,
  • Both imprisonment and a fine.[57]

Note:  The prosecution doesn't have to prove that you intended on hurting anyone. However, “if someone was injured, [the jury] may consider that fact, along with all the other evidence, in deciding whether [you] committed an assault.” That you were intoxicated voluntarily is not a defense.[58]

You can find more information in the Assault Crimes section of the Kann California Defense Group's website. Feel free to contact the Kann Defense Group offices in Santa Clarita, Ventura, Encino, Pasadena or Los Angeles/Los Angeles County. Your call will go directly to a lawyer. We always guarantee it.

California Criminal Jury Instructions – Assault

To convict you under CPC §240, the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

You did something that would directly and probably result in application of force to another person. You        did it willfully. When you did it, a reasonable person would've realized the act would result in applying force. Finally, you had the present ability to apply force.

Example: Defendant Douglas is a bully. He likes to terrorize the students in his high school. His favorite target is a first-year student, Victim Veep, who's terrified of Douglas. One day, Douglas decides to scare Veep by making him think he's about to hit Veep in the face. Douglas walks up to Veep, sneers, lifts his fist – and flicks Veep's nose with his fingertip. Veep later tells his parents, who report Douglas to the police. Douglas is arrested and charged with Assault under §240. Should he be convicted of the crime?

Conclusion:  Even though Douglas didn't hurt Veep, he knew that his act – flicking Veep's nose – would “directly and probably” make contact with Veep's face. This is why Douglas did it. He also knew that Veep would assume that force was imminent; he was trying to scare Veep, after all. Finally, at the time, Douglas was close enough to Veep that he actually flicked Veep's nose, giving Douglas “present ability” to apply force. Therefore, Douglas should be convicted of violating CPC §240.

What Can I Do If I'm Charged With Resisting Arrest?

The State of California treats Resisting Arrest as a serious offense. If you're charged with Resisting Arrest, it's essential that you retain a skilled, dedicated criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your rights, freedom, and livelihood are at stake.

Remember, a professional criminal defense attorney may be able to:

  • Negotiate a lesser charge in a plea bargain;
  • Reduce your sentence;
  • Or even get charges dismissed completely.

The attorneys at the Kann California Defense Group have an excellent understanding of the local courts and an extensive knowledge of California's criminal justice system. We can represent you in Ventura, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, Encino, Pasadena and many other Southern California cities. If you or someone you know has been arrested for, or charged with, Resisting Arrest, our attorneys will analyze the facts of your case and plan a strategy that will help you obtain the best possible outcome.

Contact the Kann California Defense Group today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.   

References

[1] See CPC §148(a)(1).

[2] “Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose. It is not required that he or she intend to break the law, hurt someone else, or gain any advantage.” See California Criminal Jury Instructions 2656 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[3] “Taking a photograph or making an audio or video recording of a (peace officer/public officer/emergency medical technician) while the officer is in a public place or the person taking the photograph or making the recording is in a place where he or she has the right to be is not, by itself, a crime.” See above.

[4] “[The jury] may not find the defendant guilty unless […] all [jurors] agree that the People have proved that the defendant committed at least one of the alleged acts of resisting, or obstructing, or delaying a peace officer [or] public officer [or] emergency medical technician who was lawfully performing his or her duties, and […] all agree on which act he or she committed” (emphasis added). See above.

[5] Even going limp and “requiring an officer to drag or carry [you] in order to accomplish a lawful arrest” may be an act of willful resistance, obstruction, or delay “if all the other requirements are met.” See above.

[6] “A person who is employed as a police officer […] is a peace officer.” See above.

[7] “An officer or employee of [a government agency] is a public officer.” See above.

[8] “A person employed by [a government agency] is a peace officer if there are facts necessary to make [the] employee a peace offıcer, e.g., [that the person has been] ‘designated by the director of the agency as a peace offıcer].'” See above.

[9] “An emergency medical technician is someone who holds a valid certificate as an emergency medical technician.” See above.

[10] “A peace officer is not lawfully performing his or her duties if he or she is unlawfully arresting or detaining someone or using unreasonable or excessive force in his or her duties. Instruction 2670 explains when an arrest or detention is unlawful and when force is unreasonable or excessive.” See above.

[11] See Endnote 1.

[12] “An executive officer is a government official who may use his or her own discretion in performing his or her job duties.” See California Criminal Jury Instructions 2652 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[13] See CPC §69(b).

[14] See California Criminal Jury Instructions 2652 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[15] See CPC §69(a).

[16] Section (b) applies to any “peace officer, custodial officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, lifeguard, security officer, custody assistant, process server, traffic officer, code enforcement officer, animal control officer, or search and rescue member engaged in the performance of his or her duties, whether on or off duty, including when the peace officer is in a police uniform and is concurrently performing the duties required of him or her as a peace officer while also employed in a private capacity as a part-time or casual private security guard or patrolman, or a nonsworn employee of a probation department engaged in the performance of his or her duties, whether on or off duty, or a physician or nurse engaged in rendering emergency medical care outside a hospital, clinic, or other health care facility[.]” See CPC §243(b).

[17] See above.

[18] “An injury is any physical injury that requires professional medical treatment. The question whether an injury requires such treatment cannot be answered simply by deciding whether or not a person sought or received treatment. [The jury] may consider those facts, but [jurors] must decide this question based on the nature, extent, and seriousness of the injury itself.” See California Criminal Jury Instructions 945 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[19] Section (c) applies to any “custodial officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, lifeguard, process server, traffic officer, or animal control officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties, whether on or off duty, or a nonsworn employee of a probation department engaged in the performance of his or her duties, whether on or off duty, or a physician or nurse engaged in rendering emergency medical care outside a hospital, clinic, or other health care facility[.]” See CPC §243(c)(1).

[20] See CPC §243(c)(2).

[21] “It does not matter whether [the offıcer] was actually on duty at the time.” See California Criminal Jury Instructions 945 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[22] “A [peace offıcer] is also performing the duties of a peace officer if (he/she) is in a police uniform and performing the duties required of (him/her) as a peace officer and, at the same time, is working in a private capacity as a part-time or casual private security guard or (patrolman/patrolwoman).” See above.

[23] See CPC §243(d).

[24] See CVC §2800.1(a).

[25] “Driving with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property includes, but is not limited to, causing damage to property while driving or committing three or more violations that are each assigned a traffic violation point.” See California Criminal Jury Instructions 2181 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[26] “a. There was at least one lighted red lamp visible from the front of the peace officer's vehicle; [¶] b. The defendant either saw or reasonably should have seen the lamp;[¶] c. The peace officer's vehicle was sounding a siren as reasonably necessary; [¶] d. The peace officer's vehicle was distinctively marked; [¶] AND, [¶] e. The peace officer was wearing a distinctive uniform.” See above.           

[27] See CPC §19.

[28] See above.

[29] “A vehicle is distinctively marked if it has features that are reasonably noticeable to other drivers, including a red lamp, siren, and at least one other feature that makes it look different from vehicles that are not used for law enforcement purposes.” See California Criminal Jury Instructions 2181 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[30] “A distinctive uniform means clothing adopted by a law enforcement agency to identify or distinguish members of its force. The uniform does not have to be complete or of any particular level of formality. However, a badge, without more, is not enough.” See above.

[31] “A person acts with wanton disregard for safety when (1) he or she is aware that his or her actions present a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm, (2) and he or she intentionally ignores that risk.” See California Criminal Jury Instructions 2181 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[32] See above.

[33] “The [defendant] does not [ ] […] [ ] have to intend to cause damage.” See California Criminal Jury Instructions 2181 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[34] Facts based on the death of LA Angels' pitcher Nick Adenhart. See “Drunk Driver Who Killed Angels Pitcher Nick Adenhart Gets 51 years To Life,” by Mike Anton, December 23, 2010, LA Times.com.

[35] Darrell would also face Homicide charges (perhaps as serious as Second Degree Murder (CPC §§187, 189)).

[36] See Endnote 27.

[37] See CPC §148.9(a).

[38] The report must be made to a “peace officer listed in [CPC] Section 830.1 or 830.2, or subdivision (a) of Section 830.33, the Attorney General, or a deputy attorney general, or a district attorney, or a deputy district attorney.” See CPC §148.5(a).

[39] See CPC §148.5(d).

[40] See Endnote 27.

[41] See CPC § 148.5(e).

[42] See CPC §185.

[43] See above.

[44] See Endnote 27.

[45] See CPC §148.3(a).

[46] See definition of “emergency,” CPC §148.3(c).

[47] See above.

[48] See Endnote 45.

[49] See CPC §148.3(e).

[50] “Fire equipment” refers to “fire protection equipment, fire protection installation, fire alarm apparatus[es], wire[s], or signal[s].” See CPC §148.4(a).

[51] See CPC §148.4(b)(1),(2).

[52] See CPC §148.4(a).

[53] See CPC §240.

[54] “The People are not required to prove that the defendant actually touched someone.” See California Criminal Jury Instructions 915 (CALCRIM) (2017).

[55] “The slightest touching can be enough if it is done in a rude or angry way. Making contact with another person, including through his or her clothing, is enough.” See above.

[56] “The touching can be done indirectly by causing an object [or someone else] to touch the other person.” See above.

[57] See Endnote 27.

[58] “The People are not required to prove that the defendant actually intended to use force against someone when he or she acted. [¶] No one needs to actually have been injured by the defendant's act. But if someone was injured, [the jury] may consider that fact, along with all the other evidence, in deciding whether the defendant committed an assault, and if so, what kind of assault it was. [¶] Voluntary intoxication is not a defense to assault.” See California Criminal Jury Instructions 915 (CALCRIM) (2017).

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