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Orange County Bar Association

Resisting Arrest / Obstruction of Justice

Penal Code Section 148 (a)

  1. If a Peace Officer is Performing his duties; AND
  2. the Defendant willfully resisted/delayed/obstructed the Peace Officer in performing his duties; AND
  3. the Defendant knew the Peace Officer was attempting to perform his duties; THEN
  4. the Defendant may be found guilty of Resisting Arrest/Obstructing Justice.


  1. The Defendant was unaware that the Peace Officer was a Peace Officer; OR the Defendant was reasonably unaware he was resisting/obstructing justice.

Practice Note

This crime often comes up when the Defendant is being arrested for another crime (i.e. Drunk Driving/ Drunk in Public) and resists the Officer’s attempts to handcuff him and take him into custody. Notably, there is no “intent” requirement so the state of mind of the Defendant is not relevant. However, it must be proven that the Defendant reasonably should have known that his actions were frustrating law enforcement from performing its duties.

Contact the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo (714) 547-4636 for more information.

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