Resisting arrest generally is resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer in the performance of their duties. It is explained more fully in California Penal Code 148(a)(1). It can also apply to emergency medical technicians. The penalty carries up to 1 year in county jail and $1000 fine, in addition to any restitution for any damages. The conduct can be as simple as not complying with an officers instructions, or running away. It can also be more serious where there is actual physical resisting which will trigger a much more aggressive response by law enforcement officers.
If the physical resisting becomes violent or a threat of violence, it can be a felony resisting arrest per California Penal Code 69 which carries up to 3 years prison and $10,000 fine. There are some defenses to this charge, but it depends on a number of factors. Any physcal violence or threat of violence greatly escalates the seriousness of the charge and the explosiveness of the situation. These charges are taken very seriously by the District Attorney (D.A.) and law enfocement. A new policy by the D.A. has these charges handled by a special D.A. and any resolutions are discussed with the officers involved. Restitution can be very important in these cases if there are any damaged uniforms, equipment or injuries.
Attorneys Nicholas and William Christoph have handled hundreds of these resisting arrest cases, both as misdemeanors and felonies, over the last 30 years being located across from the Vista Courthouse. Call 760-670-3885 for a free consultation