Navigating a 148 Charge at the Westminster Courthouse

Our client was arrested for 148 Charge for the Westminster Courthouse , known as a 148A in California. He was at Hurricanes Bar in downtown Huntington Beach, hanging out on the balcony, when he saw a Huntington Beach police officer walk by. In response, he shouted at the officer and gave him the middle finger. This apparently justified the officer going upstairs to confront him, leading to an altercation that resulted in our client foaming at the mouth and being taken to the hospital. To justify their actions, the officers charged him with a 148 for resisting arrest.

Our client, a 20-something-year-old Asian male who was facing a 148 Charge at the Westminster Courthouse, had a prior criminal record consisting only of DUIs. The specific challenge in this case was to get the charge dismissed and cleared from his criminal record while also preserving his rights to sue the city. The Huntington Beach City Prosecutor offered a diversion, but it required an admission of guilt, which would compromise our client’s ability to prevail in a civil lawsuit.

Despite already attending classes for his DUIs, the city attorney attempted to claim this as a reason for dismissing the case. We objected to this dismissal and insisted the court grant it unilaterally. Our defense strategy was to proceed straight to a jury trial, as we were confident our client had not resisted arrest. We believed the incident involved an officer who overreacted to being verbally challenged.

A key development in the case was the discovery that this particular officer had no video of the incident, raising serious suspicions. This lack of evidence was a red flag, prompting further investigation. If you have been arrested for a 148 or Penal Code for resisting arrest, contact our office to have your case reviewed.

What legal options are available for someone accused of a 148A in California?

If a person is accused of a 148A in California, they have several legal options. They can go to court and accept the charges, or they can deny the charges and enter the pretrial process to try to resolve the case. If the pretrial process does not yield a resolution, they then have the option of judicial diversion, which gives them a chance to dismiss the case. Should judicial diversion not be successful, they can also opt for a jury trial.

How can an incident at a bar escalate to a 148 Charge at the Westminster Courthouse?

An incident at a bar is often sensitive to the factors of alcohol and egos. When these are involved, situations can easily escalate, and emotions can run high. Additionally, if a police officer, who is unaccustomed to disrespect or possesses a confrontational demeanor, decides to intervene, like in the case of my client, the situation can further escalate.

Is it common for police officers to escalate situations based on verbal confrontations?

Yes, it is common for police officers to escalate situations based on verbal confrontations. This often leads to a physical altercation involving multiple officers against one individual, under the guise of the person resisting. Officers may be recorded shouting “quit resisting” during these confrontations, which can be a tactic to justify their actions when recorded on video.

What defense strategies can be used in cases where the police may have overreacted on a 148 Charge at the Westminster Courthouse?

The best defense strategy in such cases is to subpoena or acquire the police officer’s dashcam footage. This footage can reveal the events leading up to the altercation, the officer’s actions, and the interactions between the officer and the accused. It can help determine whether the individual was genuinely resisting or simply being disrespectful.

How does having a prior DUI record affect the defense in a resisting arrest case?

Having a prior DUI record may indicate alcohol-related issues, though it’s not definitive. It suggests the individual has had previous alcohol-related arrests but doesn’t necessarily reflect on the current incident.

What are the implications of refusing a diversion deal that requires admitting guilt?

Refusing a diversion deal that requires admitting guilt allows the individual to proceed from the pretrial process to a jury trial. The jury trial involves gathering 12 people to determine the veracity of the allegations against the client.

In cases like this, how crucial is video evidence from police officers in court proceedings?

In 148A cases, video footage from a police officer’s bodycamis crucial. It provides a clear view of the events before and after the incident, shedding light on what led to the altercation and whether the use of force was justified.

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