If you have dealt with or are currently facing a drunk driving charge in Southern California, you are probably aware of the overwhelming amount of stress such an accusation may cause. Increasingly, several police departments in Southern California are additionally charging individuals with “resisting arrest” – on top of charging them with driving under the influence. Some of these incidents include the actions taken by the Hermosa Beach Police Department and the California Highway Patrol.
Resisting Arrest and DUI Related Incidents in the Southland
Hermosa Beach is one South Bay city that has had many recorded cases of public drinking as well as related problems in the recent past on Pier Avenue, which is lined with bars and restaurants that serve alcohol late into the night. For example, this year, the city cracked down on Fourth of July celebrations on Pier Avenue. According to the Daily Breeze, there was an increased number of citations and arrests overall during the holiday weekend due to a bolstered police presence. The report stated that police arrested individuals for DUIs and resisting arrest in addition to other alleged offenses.
In the highly publicized incident which involved comedian Kevin Hart, who was arrested on the 101 Freeway in April, Hart was charged with resisting arrest after being arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. According to a TMZ report, Hart said he passed the field sobriety test, but failed a Breathalyzer test. He said he even admitted to the officers that he was drunk. When the officer proceeded to handcuff him, he kept asking the officer that he remove his expensive watch so it wouldn’t get damaged. Hart said his request was misunderstood as “resisting arrest.”
Consequences of a Resisting Arrest Charge – PC 148(a)(1)
Under California Penal Code Section 148 (a) (1), resisting arrest refers to a range of behavior that involves resisting, delaying or obstructing a law enforcement officer during the performance of his or her duties. During a DUI arrest, there are more opportunities for misunderstanding. For example, as in the Kevin Hart case, an officer might misunderstand an arrestee’s legitimate questions or concerns as hostility or aggressive behavior.
When an individual who is about to be arrested for driving under the influence tries to run away, fight off the officer or provides false information to the officers who are investigating the incident, he or she could be arrested for resisting arrest. In California, resisting arrest is a misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face up to one year in county jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
Defending Resisting Arrest Charges
In order to obtain a conviction for resisting arrest, the prosecution must prove that there was a peace officer lawfully performing or trying to perform his or her duties; that you willfully prevented the officer from performing his or her duties; and that you should have known he or she was a peace officer on duty. If you were arrested without probable cause or without an arrest warrant or if you are being subjected to racial profiling or excessive force, you have a defense and cannot be convicted of resisting arrest. If the resisting arrest charge was due to a misunderstanding, then you should not be convicted either. The prosecution must prove that you “willfully” or knowingly resisted the arrest. If you or someone you love is facing DUI and resisting arrest charges, an experienced Southern California criminal defense lawyer, who has successfully handled similar cases, can help protect your rights and will work tenaciously toward securing a positive outcome for you.
Have You Been Charged with Resisting Arrest and DUI? Speak to an Attorney at Wallin and Klarich
If you are facing a charge for resisting arrest or DUI allegation, the experienced attorneys at Wallin and Klarich can help you. Our attorneys have more than 30 years of experience defending clients charged with resisting arrest and other criminal matters.
Call 1-888-280-6839. We will get through this together.