When police arrest someone for a crime they didn’t commit, it is common for the innocent party to fight back and argue with the officers because he or she knows they shouldn’t be in this situation. Alternatively, sometimes people who know they are guilty of a crime resist arrest because they are scared of the potential penalties they may be up against. Whatever the reason, resisting arrest is a crime and if you have been charged with this offense, it is critical you speak with a San Diego criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
While most people think resisting arrest just means fighting police officers who are trying to put you in custody, any conduct that resists or delays an officer in the lawful performance of his or her duties is a crime. This includes struggling to avoid being put in handcuffs, fighting police officers, spitting at the police and fighting against being put into a police car or holding cell. These charges apply to all law enforcement officers, including sheriffs and Highway Patrol officers.
Resisting arrest can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specifics of the case. Resisting, delaying or obstructing the officer in the lawful performance of his duties is a misdemeanor, even being uncooperative and causing an officer to take additional time to arrest someone can result in misdemeanor resisting arrest charges. If you threatened or acted violently against the officer, you may be charged with a felony.
If the you are convicted of misdemeanor resisting arrest charges, you could face up to one year in jail and $1000 in fines. If the crime is charged as a felony, you could end up in prison for up to three years if you are convicted. As you can see, whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony resisting arrest accusations, is is critical you work with a top San Diego criminal attorney to fight these charges. In many cases, your Vista defense lawyer may be able to get felony charges reduced to a misdemeanor.
The most common defense against these charges is the argument that officer wasn’t in the lawful performance of his duties. If the officer did not have probable cause to arrest you or was using excessive force, then he was not in the lawful performance of his duties and you had the right to resist arrest.
If you have been accused of resisting arrest and/or battery of a police officer, please call San Diego criminal defense attorney Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
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