Sec 69 of the California Penal Code defines the criminal act as follows:

1) The willful and unlawful attempt by threats or violence to deter or prevent an executive officer from performance of their lawful duty;
2) The use of force or violence to resist an executive officer in the performance of their lawful duties;

An executive officer is a public employee who may exercise their discretion in the performance of their duties. An individual charged with the enforcement of the law is termed as an executive officer. The following are examples of this class of officers:

a) Police officers, sheriffs and California Highway Patrol officers;
b) Judges of the courts;
c) Government prosecutors and defense attorneys;
d) Other elected officials;

This is a wobbler offense, meaning it can be prosecuted either as a felony or misdemeanor offense. The determination of the gravity of the offense would be the circumstances of the case and the accused’s criminal history. When convicted for the misdemeanor offense, the imposable penalties would be up to one year in county jail and payment of a fine of up to $10,000. As a felony conviction, the imposable prison time would be either sixteen, twenty four or thirty six months in state penitentiary.

The crime of resisting an executive officer is a serious offense in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.