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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27741
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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While at a party with some friends a fight broke down to

Customer Question

While at a party with some friends a fight broke down to prevent being involved my friends and I decide to start walking away and away from the party to go home, however the police arrived at the scene and one officer came straight for us I being a lot intoxicated panic and run about half a block, I admit I shouldn't have done that but I got scared anyway about half a block I realized I was doing the wrong thing so I stop and turn around and apologize to the cop that was at this point chasing after me, I told I was sorry and I was stopping with my hands in the air however he did not care and he grab me and slammed my head into the pavement causing me to black out bit and caused a concussion, I got arrested and transfered to a near hospital got check and sent to County jail, now I am being charge with resisting a public officer, I was wandering if there is any chance I can fight this I know I run at first but did realize my mistake without resisting any further, also the way the police proceed to arrest me is that excess force?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I meant to say a little intoxicated I had a few beers that day.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.


All cases can be fought, and here if you were intoxicated enough, that a mitigating factor in your favor. Also, you didn't get charged with fighting or with doing anything more than resisting. A resisting charge without an underlyiing additional charge is always suspicious. That is, if there's no basis to arrest you in the first place, you cannot resist an unlawful arrest.

The police are allowed to use reasonable force, which is just enough to get the job done. The force here sounds excessive to me. You should tell your lawyer about this and show him your medical reports, as you may want to sue the police for brutality.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately I can not afford a lawyer, and I honestly just don't want to get charge with resisting arrest I heard it's punishable by up to a year in jail or up to $1000 I can't afford either, the police was the one who called paramedics and that's how I ended up in the hospital I am sure I will get billed for that, which I find unfair too. If I sue for excessive force can a public defender help me with that and will that affect whether or not I am responsible on the payment of those medical bills?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

The fact that there is a maximum possible penalty of a year in jail for an offense, does not mean you will have to serve a day of time to resolve your case. But you do need representation.

You can go to court and plead not guilty to the resisting then ask the court to appoint you a public defender. If you are actually too poor to afford counsel, the judge will assign you a free lawyer.

Public defenders practice criminal law only. They will be unable to help you sue the police for your medical bills. You'd have to seek pro bono assistance from agencies who represent civil defendants in your state. Here's a link to California pro bono agencies. You may have to make a lot of phone calls, but you should get some hands on help with your civil matter.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.