Los Angeles Resisting Arrest Attorney
Have you been charged with resisting arrest in Los Angeles, CA? This misdemeanor offense carries harsh penalties, and it is often charged alongside related offenses. With your freedom and good name on the line, you deserve a robust legal defense.
For more than 20 years, The Rodriguez Law Group has represented clients in Los Angeles charged with violent crimes and offenses involving law enforcement. Contact our law office today for a free consultation at (213) 995-6767 with a Los Angeles resisting arrest attorney who can help you.
How The Rodriguez Law Group Can Help if You’re Charged with Resisting Arrest in Los Angeles
You can be charged with resisting arrest in many circumstances, even when you are not facing arrest. Sadly, it’s even common for people to find themselves facing trumped-up charges of resisting arrest for filming police officers, arguing with police, or trying to stop police misconduct. When you are charged with resisting arrest, you deserve the best possible legal defense.
Ambrosio E. Rodriguez, our founding attorney, was a Senior Deputy District Attorney for 13 years. He uses this insight to build the strongest defense possible against the charges you face. He has a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating and a long track record of successfully defending clients against resisting arrest charges.
When you hire The Rodriguez Law Group to represent you, you can count on our law firm to:
- Offer sound legal advice and guidance while protecting your constitutional rights
- Investigate your case to determine the strength of the prosecution’s case, weaknesses in the case against you, and exculpatory evidence
- Assess whether your constitutional rights have been violated to have evidence suppressed if it was obtained illegally
- Negotiate on your behalf with the prosecutor to seek reduced charges
- Argue for the most lenient sentencing possible
- Present a persuasive case to a jury to argue the prosecution has not met their burden of proof and raise reasonable doubt
Contact our law office in Los Angeles, California, today for a free case review. A criminal defense attorney is ready to give you the tireless legal defense you need.
What Is Resisting Arrest in Los Angeles, California?
Under California Penal Code 148(a) PC, “resisting arrest” is a broad offense that refers to intentionally obstructing, delaying, or resisting a law enforcement officer or EMT from performing their duties. This means you can be charged with resisting arrest even if you are not being arrested.
Resisting arrest can be committed in many ways, such as:
- Giving a false name or other false information to law enforcement during questioning
- Struggling with a police officer attempting to handcuff you
- Refusing to exit a vehicle after being ordered to do so by law enforcement
- Blocking emergency medical technicians attempting to reach the scene of an accident
- Yelling at or taunting a police officer attempting to arrest someone else or an EMT responding to an accident scene
Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor offense. The Los Angeles County D.A.’s office typically only prosecutes a resisting arrest case that involves a suspect who used physical force against an officer, a repeat offender, or charges connected with another offense.
Offenses Related to Resisting Arrest
Depending on the circumstances of your arrest and case, you may face charges other than resisting arrest. These offenses may also be charged in addition to resisting arrest.
- Assault under Penal Code 240 PC. This may be charged if you resist arrest with physical force, even without making contact with the victim or causing injury. It is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
- Battery on a Police Officer under Penal Code 243(b). This may be charged if you commit battery against a police officer. It is punishable by up to 1 year in jail when charged as a misdemeanor. When charged as a felony due to serious injury, it is punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
- Obstructing or Resisting an Executive Officer under Penal Code 69 PC. “Executive” officers are those with a legal duty to enforce the law, including police officers. This law prohibits the use of threats and violence to stop an executive officer from carrying out their duties. This is a wobbler offense.
- Evading Arrest or Reckless Evading under Vehicle Code 2800.1 and 2800.2 VC. This is often filed simultaneously if you evade police in a car.
- False Reporting of a Crime under Penal Code 148.5 PC. This statute makes it a misdemeanor to falsely report a crime. It may be charged if you try to delay or obstruct police through a false report.
- False Reporting under Penal Code 148.3 and 148.4 PC makes it a misdemeanor to falsely report an emergency or interfere with fire alarm equipment. This can include triggering a false fire alarm.
- Wearing a Disguise to Evade Police under Penal Code 185 PC. If you attempted to evade arrest with a disguise, this charge may be filed along with resisting arrest.
- False Identification to a Police Officer under Penal Code 148.9 PC. This makes it a misdemeanor to give fake identification or a fake name to law enforcement.
- Sightseeing at the Scene of an Emergency under Penal Code 402(a) PC. Stopping at or visiting the scene of an emergency, such as an accident or fire, is a misdemeanor.
Many of these offenses are misdemeanors, but some are wobblers – meaning the prosecution could decide to charge them as felonies. It is common for resisting arrest to come with additional charges based on the specific circumstances.
What Are the Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Los Angeles, CA?
Resisting arrest is charged as a misdemeanor in Los Angeles. If convicted, you may face up to one year of jail time and a fine of up to $1,000.
Resisting arrest may also be punishable with misdemeanor probation instead of jail time. This is also known as summary probation or unsupervised probation. It usually lasts up to one year. During informal probation, you are supervised by the judge – not a probation officer. You must appear in court for progress reports to demonstrate you are complying with the terms of your probation.
If no legal defenses apply to your case or the prosecution has a strong case, we may seek reduced charges through plea bargaining. This is crucial because, while it is a misdemeanor, a conviction for resisting arrest can affect your life in many ways.
We may seek a reduced charge of disturbing the peace under Penal Code 414 PC. This statute makes it a crime to fight in public or use “fighting words.” It is punishable by up to 90 days in jail. We may also seek a charge of Sightseeing at the Scene of an Emergency instead. This misdemeanor is punishable by up to six months in jail.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Resisting Arrest in California?
When you are charged with resisting arrest, the prosecution has the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed every element of the offense.
The prosecution must show:
- A police officer or EMT was lawfully performing their duties or attempting to do so
- You willfully or intentionally delayed, resisted, or obstructed them from performing these duties
- You knew or had reason to know the individual was an EMT or police officer engaged in their duties
You may have several legal defenses against charges of resisting arrest.
Your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney may recommend one of the following legal defenses in your case:
- You did not act willfully. The criminal offense requires that you purposefully interfered with an EMT or police officer. While the prosecution must show you acted willfully, they do not need to prove you purposefully resisted arrest or broke the law.
- You were falsely accused. It is common for defendants to face trumped-up charges of resisting arrest. If your behavior toward police was flippant, rude, or offensive, but you were not impeding them from performing their duties, you have a defense.
- Police were engaged in unlawful conduct. This statute only applies when police are engaged in their lawful duties. If the officer’s actions at the time of the offense were not lawful, you cannot be convicted for resisting arrest. There are many scenarios in which you can lawfully resist arrest due to police misconduct, such as unreasonable force, arrest without probable cause or warrant, racial profiling, and illegal search of your home.
- You were defending yourself. Self-defense is a legal defense to resisting arrest if you were resisting an officer using unreasonable force. However, this defense may not be available if the excessive force was a response to your initial aggression.
At The Rodriguez Law Firm, we will also investigate your case to determine if your constitutional rights were violated. If so, we will seek to have evidence suppressed so it cannot be used against you.
Contact a Los Angeles Resisting Arrest Attorney for a Free Consultation
Resisting arrest may seem like a minor offense as a misdemeanor, but it has far reaching consequences. In addition to up to one year in jail, you may face additional charges related to the offense. In some circumstances, it can even be considered a crime of moral turpitude.
Contact The Rodriguez Law Group today for a free consultation with a Los Angeles resisting arrest attorney who is committed to giving you the best possible legal defense.
Our Los Angeles criminal defense law firm also provides:
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