Resisting or Obstructing an Officer
An arrest usually occurs within a matter of several seconds or a few minutes. During this very short time, a number of things could happen very quickly. When a suspect does not cooperate with the arresting officer, talks back to the officer, or tries to justify his or her actions, they could end up facing resisting arrest charges even though they may not have intended to offer resistance. Resisting arrest could include: not complying with the officer's orders or demands; engaging in a physical fight with the police officer or threatening physical violence; physically struggling to get out of being restrained; or giving an officer false identification. In such cases, battery may not even be a hit or a punch; something as simple as touching an officer could be deemed as battery and lead to serious charges.
Under California Penal Code Section 148 (a) (1): "Every person who willfully resists, delays, or obstructs any public officer, peace officer, or an emergency medical technician, as defined in Division 2.5 (commencing with Section 1797) of the Health and Safety Code, in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of his or her office or employment, when no other punishment is prescribed, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment."
California Penal Code 69 PC deals with offenses involving obstructing an "executive officer," from enforcing the law. Obstruction could include someone using verbal threats or physical violence to deter or prevent an officer from performing his or her duties. It may also involve an individual using force or violence to resist an officer in the performance of his or her duties.
These charges could be misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances of the arrest, whether or not physical force was used, and if weapons or firearms were involved. Resisting or preventing an officer from doing his or her duty is a serious charge with potentially severe consequences, including potential jail time and hefty fines. Resisting arrest is also considered a separate crime or charge in addition to the other alleged crimes the person being arrested may have committed.
Need an Attorney?
If you or a loved one is facing resisting arrest or obstruction charges, Santa Clarita criminal defense lawyer Daniel Kann can help. He has a thorough understanding of local courts and an extensive knowledge of California's criminal justice system. He is a former deputy public defender who is passionately committed to protecting his clients' rights. Call the Law Offices of Daniel Kann today to schedule your free and comprehensive consultation.