Resisting arrest and freedom of speech
Another common offense is resisting arrest. While many charges of resisting arrest are justified, occasionally police officers who themselves are prone to violence or over-reaction might charge an individual with resisting arrest. As defined by the standard California jury instruction:
Every person who willfully resists,
delays, or obstructs any [peace officer] [public officer]
in discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of [his]
[her] office or employment, and who knows or reasonably
should know that the other person is a [peace officer]
[public officer] engaged in the performance of [his]
[her] duties, is guilty of a violation of Penal Code
section 148, subdivision (a), a misdemeanor.
A person may not interpose any obstacles
which in any manner impedes, hinders, interrupts, or
delays a lawful arrest; provided, however, mere verbal
comments or remarks, including verbal challenges,
protests and abuse directed at a police officer, cannot
form the basis of a violation of Penal Code Section 148,
as such conduct is protected by the First Amendment.
Representing the rights of individuals throughout the Bay Area
Resisting Arrest / Free Speech
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Copyright 1999, Sandy Feinland, Esq. Last modified: June 9, 2000.
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