Accused of disobeying a peace officer? Under California Vehicle Code 2800, you could be facing severe consequences if you are convicted. A dedicated Los Angeles DUI lawyer may be able to help you prepare a compelling defense and avoid the fallout of a guilty verdict.
Schedule a free consultation to learn more about how to approach your criminal defense strategy.
When Can You Be Charged with Disobeying a Peace Officer Under CA Vehicle Code 2800?
If the state’s prosecuting attorney hopes to obtain a conviction for disobeying a peace officer under CA Vehicle Code 2800, they must meet the following criteria:
- The peace officer must have been in uniform
- The peace officer must have been performing their responsibilities when they gave a command
- The defendant willingly disobeyed the law enforcement officer’s order or direction
Charges Related to Disobeying a Peace Officer
There are several other criminal offenses that are related to disobeying a peace officer in the state of California. These include:
- California Penal Code 148: Resisting arrest – If you obstruct, delay, or intentionally resist police, or if you prevent emergency responders from performing their responsibilities, you can face charges for resisting arrest.
- California Vehicle Code 2800.1: Evading police in a motor vehicle – You can be charged with evading police in a motor vehicle when you intentionally flee from police while they are in pursuit of your vehicle. This is generally charged as a misdemeanor offense.
- California Vehicle Code 2800.2: Felony reckless evading – You can face felony reckless evading charges when you are operating a motor vehicle and attempt to flee police while operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner without regard for the safety of yourself, others, or their property. The state prosecutor has the authority to reduce your felony reckless evading charges down to a misdemeanor, as this is a wobbler offense.
Consequences of a Conviction
If you are found guilty of disobeying a peace officer, you could be facing severe penalties. Disobeying a peace officer is generally considered a misdemeanor offense. Under the law, if you are convicted under California Vehicle Code 2800, you could be ordered to pay fines as high as $1000 and spend as much as six months in jail.
If you are a first-time, non-violent offender, the judge may be willing to sentence you to misdemeanor probation as opposed to requiring you to spend time in jail. If you are placed on probation, there are specific requirements you will need to meet, such as:
- Random drug testing
- Regular meetings with your probation officer
- Obtaining gainful employment
- No use of drugs or alcohol
- Completion of community service
- Attending a drug or alcohol treatment program
- Completion of a driver retraining program
- Participate in mental health counseling or therapy
- Show up to scheduled court appearances
- Pay fines, fees, and restitution
- Avoid being accused of or charged with committing another criminal offense
These are just the criminal penalties you will face. The impact of disobeying a peace officer could spill into the rest of your life as well. Some of the more common collateral consequences you could face include:
- Reputational damage
- Trouble maintaining relationships with friends and family
- Difficulty securing or retaining a job
- Suspension or revocation of your driver’s license
- Suspension or revocation of professional licenses
- Child custody or visitation issues
- Citizenship or immigration troubles
- Temporary loss of firearm rights
If you hope to avoid the fallout of a conviction, it is important that you get an experienced attorney on your side who can help you prepare a compelling defense strategy.
How to Defend Against Disobeying a Peace Officer Allegations
If you have been accused of disobeying a peace officer, it is important that you take steps to clear your name of the charges against you. With that being said, in many cases, disobeying a peace officer may be considered a non-violent offense.
If you are a first-time offender, the state’s prosecuting attorney may be willing to allow you to enter into a pretrial diversion program or plea agreement. You will need to meet the terms of the program for the charges against you to be reduced or dismissed entirely. Some of the specific requirements you will need to meet might include:
- Completion of drug or alcohol treatment
- Completing court-ordered community service hours
- Attending mental health counseling
- Completion of a court-ordered anger management program
- Pass random drug and alcohol tests
This could result in the charges against you being reduced or dismissed entirely depending on the details of your case.
What if You’re Not Eligible for a Pretrial Diversion Program?
If you are not eligible for a pretrial diversion program, your attorney will need to closely evaluate the circumstances of your arrest to determine which defense strategy is most likely to return a not guilty verdict. Some of the more common types of defenses used to challenge disobeying a peace officer allegations include:
- The police officer was not actively performing their responsibilities – If a police officer was not in uniform and completing their legal duties, the order given may not be considered one given in the course of their responsibilities.
- The defendant lacked intent – Disobeying a police officer requires intent. If you were not acting willfully to disobey police orders or commands, you cannot be convicted of this offense.
- The defendant acted due to necessity – If you were unable to obey a police order due to an emergency or other necessity, you should not be found guilty of disobeying a police officer.
These are only a few of the more common defenses that could be used to defend against disobeying a peace officer. If you hope to dodge a conviction, be prepared to discuss your potential defense strategies with your attorney. We can help you determine which defense is most likely to help you get through this difficult time and begin rebuilding your life.
Contact a DUI Lawyer for Help Today
Accusations of disobeying a peace officer could come with harsh penalties. It is important that you take steps to protect your future. Reach out to a Los Angeles DUI lawyer to discuss your potential defense strategies today. Fill out our secured contact form or call our office to schedule your confidential consultation.