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Public intoxication/Resisting a peace officer. What am i facing? Will i be able to pass a doj?

Riverside, CA |

This weekend I went to a party. As i was leaving the party, getting into my friend's car, the officer asked if he could have a friendly conversation with me. I told him no. He asked if was going to be rude like that.. I said im sorry but i guess i was. He then arrested me under pc 647(f) public intoxication as well as pc 148(c)(1) resisting a peace officer. I spent the night in jail and was released with 2 misdemeanors and a court date. This is my first offense. What am i facing? Also i am currently in the process of being hired at a private elementary school that will be requiring a background check. If this gets dismissed/reduced to an infraction would i be able to pass that?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

The last question first: will you pass the background check if the case is reduced to an infraction? The answer is most likely. It depends upon how it is reduced. If it is reduced to an infraction before you plead "not guilty" to a misdemeanor, it is possible that only the infraction will show. However, it depends upon the thoroughness of the background check. Since you spend the night in jail, I assume you were booked and that "puts you in the system" with a number for your name.

What are you facing? As Anthony Solis said, resisting arrest is far more serious. The maximum punishment for a violation of Penal Code § 148(a)(1) is one year in county jail or a $1,000 fine.

If I were you, I would immediately go to AA meetings like crazy. Try to go to 20 (they are free) before the arraignment and then have your attorney show the DA your AA sign-in card. This will suggest to the prosecution that you recognize alcohol is a problem for you and then they may treat you a lot better since you seem to be actively trying to prevent this type of thing from happening again.

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Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

Going to AA meetings is a sound strategy if the offender 's best strategy is to acknowledge a problem with alcohol. If the offender does not have an alcohol-abuse problem AND if the offender is a, as here, a holder of a California State teaching credential, going to AA meetings is a terrible strategy that will be very difficult to unwind or manage effectively in an administrative law action to retain an unlimited teaching credential.

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Posted

One more question. What is a 148(c)(1)? As far as i can tell this refers to these sections. (c) Every person who, during the commission of any offense described in subdivision (a), removes or takes a firearm from the person of, or immediate presence of, a public officer or peace officer shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. (1) The officer's holster strap was unfastened by the defendant. Am i reading this correctly? Does this cop seriously think that i tried to steal his gun?

Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Posted

The charge does not require the prosecution to prove that you "tried" or intended to "steal" the officer's gun. The charge speaks to the conduct of the accused: ""removes or takes" and unfastens. This can be serious business, and it may be important strategically to determine whether you will contend that you were intoxicated at the time. If so, you may have alocohol-associated memory impairnment. DONOT MAKE ANY FACTUAL RESPONSE HERE. In fact, STOP posting about this. You need to be having this discussion with your skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney.

Posted

Worry about the 148 charge more than the public intoxication. I'd hire an attorney if I were you. Anything you can do to reduce the chances of a conviction is going to help you. You may be putting your job in jeopardy otherwise. With those charges I can imagine a school figuring that you are a risk that they may not want to take. Get a lawyer.

No legal advice is given here. My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must NOT be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions & Answers forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. I am only licensed in the States of California and New York and the District of Columbia

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Posted

You are facing some jail time these charges, more so on the PC 148. It is highly unlikely you would get any kind of time in jail close to the maximum. In Riverside possibly you could face some jail time. The big issue are the crimes themselves if convicted. Not good for elementary school employment. It is very important you take care of this with the right professional who knows about employment licensing and the potential adverse effects of criminal charges.

If the case is dismissed you'll be okay. An infraction would not disqualify you but it may be a factor a school would consider in its determination whether it hires you.

Every case is different. Specific facts of your case must be applied before relying on an answer to a general question. The answer given here is a general statement of the law on the issue that you presented in your question.

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Posted

You have had some advice here from California attorneys who practice criminal defense. Fair enough. You must, of course, deal immediately with the potentials of criminal conviction and penalty.

I write to address the companion issue that you seem not yet to realize will present itself -- not of the impending employment check, but of defending your State license, specifically your California elementary teaching credential, issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Like most State licensing agencies, the Commission has the statutory power to revoke or condition/limit your license on the basis of any criminal conviction. Infractions are criminal offenses for State licensing purposes in California, so the advice from criminal defense attorneys that pleading to infractions will resolve everything harmlessly is not correct when it comes to holding onto your credential.

Moreover, California State licensing agencies take P. C. 148 very seriously, much more seriously than criminal courts seem to, and the Commission takes any alcohol-related issues very seriously as well. The underlying facts here will be more significant to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing than the ultimate charge to which you plead. It will make a significant difference to the Commission whether the intoxication was a situational offense or whether you are a credentialed person with a substance-abuse problem. Do NOT take any alcohol-rehab actions such as getting into treatment or going to AA without a detailed consultation and advice from an attorney with skill and experience before the Credentialing Commission as to what impact such measures will have on your ability to hold onto your credential. If you act in any way that supports a finding of an alcohol-problem, as opposed to a situational offense, it can become next to impossible to budge the Commission away from that finding -- a terrible and unnecessary outcome if not required by the facts of your life.

You need to be consulting and working with a professional licensing law attorney to retain your credential even as you work with a criminal defense attorney in defending against criminal charges. Some of what might make sense in criminal court can be terribly damaging before the Commission in your effort to hold onto your license or keep it free of restrictions. There are numerous means of presenting a sound criminal defense that do not cause unnecessary jeopardy for your credential with the Commission.

The Commission was automatically notified of your arrest, and you should expect to hear from the agency by a written demand for a full statement -- probably before your criminal case is concluded. It is always unwise to make a statement to the State (admissible for all purposes) before your criminal matter is concluded, so you will need counsel to arrange a deferral of the obligation to provide the requested info to the Commission.

I hope that you can obtain the job that you are on the verge of accepting. But, in candor, you must define success in the current circumstances by the nature of the criminal case outcome and the objective of retaining an unlimited elementary teaching credential. You have years of training and education invested in that credential and it is your livelihood ticket for years -- even decades -- to come. You need to understand the true boundaries of the present problem and take all necessary measures to do what you can to protect the credential. EVERYTHING else is secondary to preserving that ticket.

No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.

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