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What is Resisting Arrest?

Resisting arrest, as a misdemeanor, is the resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer in the performance of his duties.  It can also pertain to other emergency personnel.  As a misdemeanor, it carries up to a year in county jail and $1000 fine.  California Penal Code (PC) 148(a) is the code section.  

Most commonly, this charge is seen when someone is not cooperating with the officer, not obeying their commands, physically resisting by making it difficult for the officer to arrest the individual, going limp, walking or running away from the officer when the officer is performing a lawful duty, such as detention or arrest with probable cause.  These non-violent types of resisting or obstructing an officer often involve intoxicated individuals, or suspects runninng from the police.  

Felony resisting arrest is a violent resisting using threats or violence to deter or prevent an officer from performing his duties.  As a Felony, it carries up to 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.  This type of resisting usually involves the actual physical fighting back with the officer, not just being uncooperative or using passive resistance.

There are defenses to these charges which concern whether or not the police officer was lawfully performing his duty, or using excessive force.  If you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony resisting arrest, it is important to contact a Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible while the events are fresh in your mind so you can understand the process, discuss defenses and possible outcomes.  Call Christoph Law Offices at 760-941-5720 for a free consultation.  Located across from Vista courts for over 34 years, we have provided the highest level of personal and profession Criminal Defense Representation.