Criminal Lawyer Explains Defenses Available To Those Facing Assault On A Police Officer Or Resisting Arrest Charges

Photo of man under arrest

Law enforcement officers are not immune to crossing the line and committing crimes, even while in the course of performing their sworn duty. That is why it is crucial that every case involving an accusation of assault on a police officer or resisting arrest is investigated thoroughly. Criminal defendants facing resisting arrest or assault on police officer charges still have rights under the Constitutions of California and the United States. This includes the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of a crime you’ve been accused of committing.

What Is Considered Resisting Arrest or Police Officer Assault?

Police officer assault and resisting arrest involve instances where a person or persons hinder through obstruction, resistance or delay a member of law enforcement while he or she is performing his or her duty, such as:

  • Physically struggling against or attacking a law enforcement officer while he or she is attempting to arrest you;
  • Giving a police officer a fake name or providing a law enforcement officer with false personal information;
  • Purposely going limp so that a police officer has to carry or drag you to arrest you.

Punishments for those convicted of misdemeanor resisting arrest can include:

  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Up to a year in county jail

Punishments for those convicted of felony resisting arrest or assault on a police officer can include years in a California state prison.

Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help If I’m Accused of Police Officer Assault or Resisting Arrest?

Like any criminal case, the burden is on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In the case of resisting arrest or assault on a police officer, this can include:

  • Proving the defendant was aware or should have reasonably known that who he or she assaulted or resisted was a law enforcement officer;
  • Establishing that the law enforcement officer was performing his or her duties in a lawful manner;
  • Showing the defendant intentionally committed police officer assault or resisted arrest.

The job of a criminal defense attorney is to ensure the prosecution is held to its ethical duties and Constitutional burden and standards as it attempts to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. By doing so, a criminal defense lawyer can make sure that a criminal defendant’s rights are protected and freedom is defended, including presenting any legal defenses that apply to the case, such as proving the:

  • Defendant was the victim of a wrongful arrest;
  • Charge was the result of false accusations;
  • Defendant was acting in self-defense as a result of being subjected to excessive force.

Criminal Defense Attorney in Los Angeles for Resisting Arrest or Police Officer Assault

All too often law enforcement officers are negligent or reckless in the course of performing their duties and just get away with it because no one steps up to challenge their excessive and often times Unconstitutional conduct. Many of these cases involve officers with a history of abuse, excessive force or who embellish in police reports to cover their actions, because they know a jury’s first instinct is to side with them due to the credibility of their position. However, something as simple as filing a Pitchess motion, which can bring to light any past complaints against an officer, can help juries see past the uniform, so that they can get a true understanding of the man or woman behind it.

Criminal defense lawyer Daniel Leib of criminal law firm Leib Law is well aware of the dangers of an unchecked police force. The attorneys at Leib Law have years of experience defending the rights and freedom of criminal defendants in cases involving police officer assault and resisting arrest, including:

  • Securing a 12-0 not guilty verdict in a case involving a man who was charged with assault on a police officer when it was alleged he ran over the foot of a police officer who had pulled him over for allegedly making an improper right turn. After he was pulled over, a police officer accused the man, whose pregnant wife and two children were in the car with him at the time, of running over his foot. Officers told the man to get out of his car and then brutally beat him and threw him to the ground in the course of arresting him. The trial revealed there was no evidence found that the officer’s foot was run over. The man was cleared of felony charges, and the officers were sued for civil rights violations due to their actions during the arrest.

For more information on this topic, read the following blog posts:


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