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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

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The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

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California Penal Code Section 148(a) PC: Resisting Arrest

By Spodek Law Group | May 12, 2018
(Last Updated On: October 15, 2023)

Last Updated on: 15th October 2023, 09:48 am


California Penal Code Section 148(a) PC: Resisting Arrest

Being charged with resisting arrest can be a confusing and scary experience. This article provides an overview of California Penal Code Section 148(a) PC, which covers the crime of resisting arrest, to help you understand what it means and what your options are if you find yourself in this situation.

What Does the Law Say?

Section 148(a) of the California Penal Code states that every person who willfully resists, delays, or obstructs any public officer, peace officer, or emergency medical technician in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of their office or employment, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Here are some key points about this law:

  • It applies to resisting, delaying or obstructing public officers, peace officers like police, sheriff’s deputies, and CHP, as well as emergency medical technicians.
  • “Willfully” means on purpose, not accidentally. You have to intend to resist, delay or obstruct the officer.
  • You can violate this law either by actively resisting an officer through force or violence, or by passively resisting by refusing to comply with lawful orders.
  • The officer has to be engaged in his or her official duties when the resistance occurs.


Resisting arrest under Penal Code 148(a) PC is a misdemeanor offense. Potential penalties include:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail
  • A fine of up to $1000
  • Informal probation
  • Community service

Sentences can be enhanced if you have prior convictions for resisting arrest. Using force or violence could also lead to additional charges like battery on a peace officer.


There are several defenses your attorney may use to fight resisting arrest charges:

  • No “willfulness” – For example, if you reflexively pulled away when an officer grabbed your arm but didn’t intend to resist.
  • Self-defense – If an officer used excessive force and you acted reasonably to protect yourself.
  • No lawful duty – If the officer detained or arrested you unlawfully.
  • Misidentification – If you truthfully identified yourself but the officer made a mistake.
  • False evidence – If officers lie about what happened.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can evaluate the details of your case and decide what defenses to pursue. Be sure to discuss all the circumstances leading up to your arrest.

Resisting arrest allegations can have serious consequences. The police report may not tell the whole story.

With the help of an attorney, you may be able to get charges reduced or dismissed. Don’t jeopardize your future by trying to navigate the legal system alone.

Speak to a criminal defense lawyer right away if you are facing charges under Penal Code 148(a) PC.


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