California Penal Code 69 PC – Resisting an Executive Officer

April 13, 2016

If you’re arrested for Resisting an Executive Officer under California Penal Code 69, then you’re probably charged with other offenses as well. This charge differs from resisting arrest because this charge requires a level of force or violence against the police officer whereas resisting arrest charges does not. Resisting an executive officer is a wobbler offense which means you could be charged with a felony or misdemeanor. Fortunately, you may be able to reduce your felony to a misdemeanor upon successful completion of probation. The following article will address 7 important things you should know about resisting an executive officer with force or violence.

1. What is the Definition of Resisting an Executive Officer?

PC 69 provides the legal definition for resisting an executive officer as, “Every person who attempts, by means of any threat or violence, to deter or prevent an executive officer from performing any duty imposed upon such officer by law, or who knowingly resists, by the use of force or violence, such officer, in the performance of his or her duty, [is guilty under this statute].”

2. What are the Elements to Resisting an Executive Officer?

According to CALCRIM 2652, in order to prove you’re guilty of resisting an executive officer with force or violence under PC 69, the government has the burden of proving each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1) You unlawfully resisted an executive officer using force or violence;
2) The officer was lawfully performing their duty when you acted;
3) You knew the executive officer was in the performance of their duty.

3. What are the Legal Defenses to PC 69?

• You did not use force or violence against the police officer.

• The police officer was not lawfully performing his or her duty. For instance, the police officer may have engaged in excessive force beyond the permissible scope of his or her duties.

• You were arrested inside your home without a warrant absent consent or exigent circumstances. If you did not consent for police officers to enter your apartment or home, and no emergency circumstances existed, then police must be armed with an arrest warrant to arrest you inside your home. If the police violate this constitutional rule, then your seizure should not have occurred and thus your charge of resisting an executive officer will be dismissed.

• Police officers were not armed with probable cause to effectuate your arrest. Officer must have sufficient cause to believe that you committed a crime. If you were detained without probable cause or reasonable suspicion, then officer violated your search & seizure right mandating dismissal of the instant charge.

• You did not reasonably believe that you resisted a police officer. Perhaps the officer was undercover and failed to announce he or she is law enforcement or show you their badge.

• You were acting in self-defense against the police officers unreasonable use of force against you.

• Police officer is fabricating or exaggerating the circumstances.

4. What is the Punishment for PC 69?

As mentioned above, resisting an executive officer is a wobbler offense. The consequences for a conviction will depend on whether you were convicted of this charge as a felony or misdemeanor. A felony conviction carries 16, 2, or 3 years in the county jail plus a fine up to $10,000. A misdemeanor conviction carries up to 1 year in the county jail with a fine not exceeding $10,000. If the police officer suffered damages to their uniform or person, then you will be ordered to pay restitution.

5. What Should I do After my Arrest?

• Document exactly where your arrest / incident occurred

• Have a third party photograph your injuries – cuts, bruises, or other markings

• Document the names and contact information for all witnesses

• Contact the Law Offices of John Rogers right away

6. What are Examples of Resisting an Executive Officer?

• Kicking a police officer as he or she attempts to place you in handcuffs

• Making threats to a police officer when they attempt to place you in handcuffs

• Throwing a beer can towards a police officer as they attempt to disperse a disorderly crowd of people

• Pushing away a police officer as he or she attempts to arrest you

7. Free Criminal Defense Consultation

Contact an Newport Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers if you’re facing resisting an executive officer under PC 69 for a free consultation about your rights and defenses with no obligation.

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