At the time of arrest, police officers can be a little aggressive in questioning the person being charged as well as in searching private spaces that should be protected by the Fourth Amendment. This often leads to uncooperative behavior by the person being arrested because they do not feel as if they are being treated properly.
In certain situations, uncooperative behavior can result in additional charges such as resisting arrest. California Penal code §148 (a)(1) makes it illegal for any person to willfully resists, delays or obstructs any public officer will be charged accordingly. Any penalties arising from a resisting arrest charge will be in addition to charges sentenced for the crime during which the person was being uncooperative.
If a person is convicted of a resisting arrest charge, they may be sentenced anywhere up to a year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. The final penalty will depend on the specific facts of the arrest and the person’s prior criminal history. If the person has several charges of resisting arrest in the past, they are likely to have a higher penalty. Similarly, if the person was being highly uncooperative and obnoxious, there may be a higher sentence.
For example, Dan is arrested on suspicion of a DUI. When he is stopped and questioned he tells the officer he will not take any sobriety test, he refuses to provide information regarding his auto insurance and driver’s license and he won’t get into the police car to be taken into the station. This obstructs justice and officer’s may charge him with a resisting arrest. In comparison, David is stopped on suspicion of a DUI. He continues to drive and doesn’t stop. When he is stopped he kicks the officer and tries to run away from the scene. David is more likely to receive jail time as well as possible assault charges. Additionally, he will be paying a higher fine than Dan.
When a person has been arrested and charged with more than one crime, often a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer can help dismiss additional charges, or in the very least, reduce the combined sentence. By providing the courtroom with positive information regarding the person being tried, the attorney presents the person in a more positive light, and as more than a case number.
If you have been charged with several crimes, it is in your best interest to consult a criminal defense specialist. They can discuss with you the different options you have and the possible defenses that will give you the best possible argument.