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What Are the Consequences of Resisting Arrest in California?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

San Jose, CA criminal defense lawyer

Being stopped by police and accused of a crime or actually being arrested is a bad situation in which to find yourself. How you respond can have major ramifications as well. You do have the right to certain protections, and you will want to avoid revealing information that could be used against you. However, not complying with requests from an officer, attempting to evade law enforcement, or resisting arrest could leave you facing additional and even more serious criminal charges. A seasoned criminal defense attorney can explain your options for the best possible outcome. 

Passenger Killed After San Jose Man Refuses to Stop for Police 

Cases involving people who resist arrest or attempt to evade police officers are common, and they can end up affecting others aside from the offender. For example, in San Jose, a 54-year-old man is facing criminal charges of vehicular homicide after a crash that occurred during a police chase that killed a passenger in his vehicle. The man was headed south on Highway 87 around 2:00 a.m. when California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers noticed him weaving in and out of his lane. They attempted to stop the man on suspicion of DUI, but he led them on a high-speed chase instead. 

The driver eventually lost control of his vehicle and violently crashed into a light pole and then through a chain-link face near Monterey Road. While he is reported to have only minor injuries, his passenger was killed. In addition to the homicide charge, the driver also faces charges related to gross negligence resulting in injury or death and evading arrest. 

Ramifications of Resisting Arrest

Under the California Penal Code, evading or resisting arrest, obstructing a law enforcement officer, or taking actions that cause delays in performing an officer's job is considered a crime against public justice. While generally classified as a misdemeanor offense, there are certain situations that can make these charges far more serious. 

Taking a firearm from an officer as a form of resistance, attempting to take it, or acting out aggressively against the officer are considered ‘wobbler’ offenses in California. This means that the judge can determine, based on other circumstances in the case, to charge the accused individual with a felony. Penalties for resisting arrest may include any of the following: 

  • Misdemeanor resisting arrest: Fines up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail

  • Felony resisting arrest: Fines up to $2,000 and a prison sentence of up to three years

  • Felony battery against a police officer while resisting arrest: In addition to a possible three-year prison sentence, fines up to $10,000

The above penalties are in addition to any other charges a person may face related to the alleged crime for which he or she was initially being stopped or arrested.  

Contact a San Jose, CA Criminal Defense Lawyer 

Not complying with an officer’s requests during a traffic stop or arrest can lead to significant penalties. If you are facing charges related to evading police or resisting arrest, you need professional legal help. The Jachimowicz Law Group will carefully review the circumstances of your case to build a strong defense. Contact our diligent San Jose criminal defense attorneys today at 408-246-5500 to schedule a free consultation.  






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