Contact Us for a Free Consultation (213) 542-0979


Can I Be Charged With Resisting Arrest If I Refuse To Get Out Of Vehicle?

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ. | Jan 09, 2020

In that scenario you are interfering with the police in the performance of their duties and that fits under the umbrella of resisting arrest, which is defined under California Penal Code 148(a).

Even though it's not the classic scenario where you're wrestling with the police, your refusal to get out of the car is still interfering with them while they're trying to perform their duty.

In this situation, the duty of the police is to see whether or not you are driving under the influence of alcohol. Under the implied consent law, you have to cooperate with the police if they believe you're intoxicated. Otherwise you will not only get a resisting arrest charge but a DUI charge as well, and they might even tack on some other charges.

If the police are trying to do their job – whether it be in a DUI investigation, a domestic violence investigation, or any other investigation – you can be arrested and charged with a whole slew of crimes if you don't cooperate with them.

Resisting Arrest for Giving Wrong Name During Questioning

Regardless of what name you give, you can be charged if you resisted arrest. The next question is, which name did you give? Was it your name or somebody else's name?

That creates a problem, because if you get convicted then that person would end up with a conviction on their record even though they didn't do anything wrong. If your brother used your name, you should get an attorney.

Can I Be Charged With Resisting Arrest in California If I Refuse To Get Out Of Vehicle?

Once it's shown that you're innocent, then they're going to charge your brother not only with whatever crimes he originally committed but also impersonating another person, filing a false police report, and a host of other potential crimes.

Believe it or not this happens all the time, and it creates a real problem for the person whose name was used. When you get an arrest record or a conviction it's not easy to get that off your record.

You would think there would be some mechanism to clear your name automatically in this situation, but depending on the circumstances it can be very difficult to get a fraudulent arrest or conviction off your criminal record.

Can I Be Convicted Of Resisting Arrest If Arrest Was Illegal?

Whenever you're charged with resisting arrest or obstructing justice or anything similar, it's always a potential defense that the police were trying to arrest you unlawfully. If they weren't really acting in the performance of their duty then you can make the argument that the police have violated your rights and shouldn't have been able to arrest you.

This happens all the time. For example, let's say the police come out to a scene at a club or a bar or even a house party and people are drunk and acting crazy. The police start telling people to get out of the area or whatever the case may be, and they decide to arrest somebody.

If another person gets in their way and interferes with the arrest, then the police are going to end up arresting that person.

If the police were being unreasonable or just being bullies, then that person might be able to argue that it was an unlawful arrest because the police were not performing a lawful duty.

The same is true if the person they arrested wasn't doing anything and just happened to be in the area. Of course, it's going to be your word against their word, but sometimes you'll get lucky and there'll be witnesses or even video.

In today's society, video has been a huge weapon for the defense. Sometimes even their own body cams will show that the police are not telling the truth, and that can be used as a defense.

Could I Be Charged With Resisting Arrest For Being Rude To Police?

Shouting at somebody or just being rude is not necessarily a crime. However, depending on the circumstances, if the police tell you to go in the opposite direction and you start shouting at them and getting in their way then they might be able to charge you with resisting arrest or obstructing justice.

It's not a crime to yell at the police or to call them names, but you do so at your own risk. If they don't like what you're saying or doing, they may arrest you and make claims in the police report that aren't necessarily true. It's not always easy to disprove what the police are saying unless you have witnesses or video evidence.

You really don't want to get yourself in the position of going against the police if you can avoid it. If you do find yourself in that position, then getting a criminal defense attorney is key in getting your version of events across.

That attorney is going to go into the investigation with your story in mind. When a good piece of evidence turns up, your advocate is going to be able to use it in your defense.

They will try to block them from being able to prosecute you for resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, battery on a police officer, or whatever it is they're claiming you did. You're going to be able to either defend yourself or at least lessen the likelihood of going to jail or having a serious conviction on your record.

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

Ronald D. Hedding, Esq., is the founding member of the Hedding Law Firm. Mr. Hedding has an extensive well-rounded legal background in the area of Criminal Law. He has worked for the District Attorney's Office, a Superior Court Judge, and as the guiding force behind the Hedding Law Firm. His multi-faceted experience sets Mr. Hedding apart and puts him in an elite group of the best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Southern California.