Resisting Arrest in California

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No one wants to be arrested. For many, resisting arrest is almost a knee-jerk reaction. The problem with the reaction is that it can make any legal issues you’re already dealing with much worse.

California’s Penal Code 148 PC deals with the issue of resisting arrest. When you read through the penal code you’ll discover that simply running or throwing a temper tantrum when an officer is trying to arrest you isn’t the only way you can be charged with resisting arrest. If you do anything that is a blatant attempt to delay or obstruct the arrest process you will face resisting arrest charges in California. You can also be charged with resisting arrest if you interfere with a peace officer or an emergency medical tech.

There aren’t many valid defenses against a resisting arrest in California charge. Some that have been successfully used include:

✦ The resistance wasn’t willful
✦ The resistance charges were false accusations
✦ That there wasn’t probable cause for the arrest

The good news is that resisting arrest in California is only a misdemeanor charge, not a felony.

If you’re convicted, the judge could order you to serve a year-long sentence in a county jail. They can also require that you pay a $1,000 fine. Most judges consider all the circumstances surrounding the case as well as your criminal history before deciding if they should lighten the sentence. It’s not unusual for a judge to decide that probation should be used instead of actual jail time.

When all is said and done, it’s usually in your best interest to stay calm, cool, and collected while you’re being arrested.

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