Penal Code 148(a)(1) – Misdemeanor Police Obstruction Charges
PC 148(a)(1) – Any person who willfully resists, delay, or obstructs any public officer, peace officer, or any emergency medical technician, while they are in the process of or attempting to discharge any of their duties, is guilty of misdemeanor. This is a very broad statute as it covers “any duty” of the officer. It is a specific intent crime which will require the prosecutor to show more than reckless or knowing conduct. The conduct has to be a willful attempt to obstruct the officer’s duties.
How Do Nurses Get Charged with Police Obstruction in a Nursing Home pursuant to Penal Code 148(a)(1)?
Nursing homes are highly regulated by many governmental entities that routinely conduct unannounced investigations. An allegation of elder abuse may trigger a visit from the Department of Public Health, Ombudsman, local law enforcement, Attorney General’s Office, Nursing Board, and even Operation Guardian. Multiple interviews may lead to inconsistent statements resulting in criminal prosecution. Nurses may be charged with the crime of obstruction of justice pursuant to Penal Code 148(a)(1) where the Special Agent from the Attorney General’s office feels as if the nurse purposely provided false information as to delay or obstruct the process of the investigation. Every employee is entitled to having an attorney present during employee interviews and an employee has the right to assert his or her right to remain silent. Employee interviews are completely voluntary and multiple inconsistent statements from varying governmental officials investigating the same facts or circumstances may lead to incorrect information resulting in criminal prosecution pursuant to Penal Code 148(a)(1).