The part of the California criminal code that illegalizes resisting arrest and other kinds of police obstruction is 148 Penal Code. Although this isn’t a crime that gets a lot of headlines, plenty of California citizens have been charged under this statute. If that is the case, you should know what to do to defend yourself in Court.
148 Penal Code and Obstructing Law Enforcement
148 Penal Code is the California statute that illegalizes resisting arrest and other forms of police obstruction by citizens interacting with the police. In specific, this law bans delaying the work of police, resisting the police and any other form of obstruction of law enforcement. This law covers both actions towards the police as well as emergency medical technicians trying to do their work to save lives.
The most common crime under the broad scope of this law is resisting arrest. Resisting arrest is defined by a number of uncooperative behaviors such as struggling while being handcuffed, jeering at the police and giving false information. Other kinds of police obstruction that is illegalized by this statute include obstructing the police while they are interviewing witnesses, monitoring suspects or traveling to a crime scene.
The intent of a person expressed during such an incident is also important. If you only obstructed the police on accident, it should not be prosecuted as a crime. However, if the police believe otherwise, you may still end up being charged with obstruction. This is why gathering witness accounts to collaborate your version of the story is extremely important.
The Punishment for this Crime If Convicted
Resisting arrest or obstructing a police officer or EMT is considered a misdemeanor charge in California. The punishment given for a conviction depends on the severity of the incident as well as other factors such as a person’s prior criminal record. However, the maximum punishment for this type of crime is a one year county jail sentence and a $1,000 fine.
Legal Defenses Our Law Firm Can Provide You With
If you have been charged under 148 Penal Code, it is important to hire a lawyer to represent you in court as quickly as possible. Being convicted of this crime could result in significant fines and jail time. You want to do everything you can to make sure you come out unscathed. Having such a crime on your record could also taint all of your future encounters with police. It is certainly something you want to avoid.
Thankfully, there are a number of different legal defense strategies that can be implemented in a resisting arrest or police obstruction case. For example, there may be evidence of police misconduct. If this can be presented to the jury, it could sway them to your side. If evidence of police brutality can be demonstrated, a case for self defense can easily be made. If it is proven in court you were arrested based on a false accusation, the jury will likely sympathize with you instead of the police officers.