The most advisable thing is that you collaborate and follow the instructions of the police. If you resist arrest in California, you may face serious legal consequences, including penalties, prison time, or even more charges. In this blog, we tell you what resisting arrest means, what penalties it entails, and how to defend yourself if you are charged with this crime.
What is resistance to arrest?
Resisting arrest is any action that hinders, delays, or prevents a peace officer from performing his or her duties. This includes not only the use of force but also intimidation, lying, refusing to reveal one’s identity or follow orders, or even trying to flee or hide.
Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. However, if resistance involves violence or injury to the officer, the crime can be greater and carry harsher penalties, such as several years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
What to do if you are charged with resisting arrest?
If you are charged with resisting arrest, the first thing you should do is contact a criminal defense attorney who has experience in these types of cases. A lawyer will be able to guide you about your rights, examine the evidence against you, negotiate with the prosecution, and represent you at trial.
There are several possible defenses to this charge, such as proving that the arrest was illegal, that you acted in self-defense, that you did not mean to resist, or that there was an error or falsehood in the police report. A lawyer will be able to assess what the best strategy for your case is and seek acquittal or reduction of the sentence.
How to prevent resistance to arrest?
The best way to prevent resisting arrest is to respect the laws and behave in a responsible and peaceful manner. If you are stopped or arrested, stay calm, cooperate with the officer, identify yourself, and ask to speak to an attorney. Don’t argue, don’t get upset, don’t oppose, and don’t do anything that could aggravate your situation.
Remember that opposing arrest does not help you at all, but rather exposes you to greater risks and complications. Furthermore, if you believe that the arrest was unfair or abusive, you can always report it later to the competent authorities.