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Resisting Arrest Charges in California

What is Resisting Arrest?

If a person tries to physically touch, hit or strike the police officer or other legal authority that is attempting an arrest, they may be charged with resisting arrest. This offense may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or as a felony crime, depending upon the circumstances involved. An individual may be charged with felony resisting arrest even if there was no actual injury to the officer, or no weapon was used.

California Law on Resisting Arrest

Under California law, it is illegal to resist arrest, which means participation in any action that resists, delays, or otherwise obstructs law enforcement from attempting or performing an arrest. This can take a variety of forms, from getting into a physical altercation with police as they attempt arrest you, to verbally confronting officers or giving false identification in connection with a crime. Considering the wide range of activities that are considered resisting arrest, it is possible for law enforcement to charge someone whether they have done so or not.

What is Considered Resisting Arrest?

In order to be charged with resisting arrest, it must be proven that:

  1. Law enforcement was present and attempting to do their legal duties;
  2. The accused took part in an activity that prevented law enforcement from completing those duties;
  3. The accused did those actions with the intention of preventing law enforcement from doing their duties; and
  4. The accused knew that law enforcement was attempting to engage in their duties.

California Resisting Arrest Sentence

If you are charged with resisting arrest as a misdemeanor, the sentence is up to 1 year in the county jail, and/or a fine of $1000. If you are convicted of felony resisting arrest, you may spend up to 3 years in the state prison. The severity of you charges is at the prosecutor's discretion, which makes it vitally important that you have an extremely competent Riverside resisting arrest attorney from Grech & Packer by your side in the courtroom. We will use our 39 years of expertise to protect your legal rights and aggressively defend your case.

Is Resisting Arrest a Felony in California?

Under California Penal Code section 148(a), resisting arrest is considered a misdemeanor charge, and you could be sentenced to 1 year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. However, if you are charged with felony resisting arrest, you could be sentenced to 3 years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Your felony resisting arrest charge will be added on to your original arrest charge, along with an additional sentence. If your original charge was one that you could receive a strike for under the Three Strikes Law, a resisting arrest conviction could put you into the two strikes category, or the three strikes category, if you already had a prior conviction. Convictions at this level place your entire future at risk.

Resisting Arrest Defense in Riverside

Attorney Paul Grech is a former prosecutor, which means we know the strategies the state uses when preparing their case. We will build our own effective case in your defense by investigating the events of your arrest and all available evidence. We will review all police reports and compare them to the statements of any witnesses. If we find any discrepancies or weaknesses in the prosecution's case, we will request that the charges against you be reduced or dismissed so you will not have to go to trial.

Contact a Riverside Resisting Arrest Lawyer today at (951) 291-0105 to discuss how the Law Offices of Grech & Packer can help prepare the best possible defense on your behalf.

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