Most people have an idea of what it means to “resist arrest,” and generally that involves a person fighting the police when being arrested. It is not always this dramatic – in fact, many actions can be charged as resisting arrest. Keep reading to learn more then contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell if you are in need of a free legal consultation with a criminal defense attorney.
Your Rights When Pulled Over for a Suspected DUI
You do have rights when a police officer pulls you over. In particular, if you are pulled over for a DUI, you have a right to refuse to take a field sobriety test. You can also decline to answer any questions by the police. That said, you cannot impede their investigation – whether it is a DUI stop or a stop for anything else. This may seem like a small difference but misunderstanding it can mean the difference between being an annoyance to a police officer and facing criminal charges.
The Definition of Resisting Arrest
Resisting arrest refers to resisting, delaying, or obstructing a police officer – or emergency personnel of any type, including firefighters and EMTs – from performing their job. This can indeed include physically resisting but it can also include things like struggling when police are trying to put on handcuffs, going limp to prevent the officer from easily dragging you into custody, giving a fake name to the officer, or interfering with an investigation.
In the state of California, resisting arrest is a misdemeanor charge. The maximum penalties are $1,000 in fines and up to a year in jail. However, keep in mind that it is often the case for resisting arrest to be charged in conjunction with other crimes.
You Can Be Arrested for Disobeying an Officer
According to the California Vehicle Code, it is a misdemeanor to not obey the order of an officer who is in uniform and is performing public safety duties. This could be something like not obeying signs that tell a driver not to go into a cordoned off accident scene, or refusing to get out of the vehicle when the officer asks them to. Of course, it is legal to not obey if the officer is asking you to do something illegal but this can be difficult to prove.
Have You Been Arrested for Anything Related to Resisting Arrest?
If you have been arrested for resisting arrest or any other crime in California, then you should talk to a criminal defense attorney. No matter how minor the charges seem, it is always worth at least talking to an attorney to find out more about your defense options and the potential long-term consequences of a guilty plea. Contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 now for a free legal consultation.