Resisting or Obstructing as a Lesser Included Offense

In People v. Lopez (2005) 129 Cal.App.4th 1508, the defendant argued the jury should have been instructed on misdemeanor resisting or obstructing in violation of section 148, subdivision (a)(1), as a lesser included offense of violating section 69. (Lopez, supra, 129 Cal.App.4th at pp. 1514, 1532.) The Sixth Appellate District agreed with People v. Belmares (2003) 106 Cal.App.4th 19 that misdemeanor resisting was not a lesser included offense "because section 69 can involve a present attempt to deter an officer's future duty. " (Lopez, supra, at p. 1532.) Lopez also addressed the defendant's argument that Belmares was distinguishable because the Belmares defendant was charged in the disjunctive, that he attempted to deter "or" did knowingly resist, whereas the information in Lopez used the conjunction "and" to allege violations of both aspects of violating section 69. (Lopez, supra, 129 Cal.App.4th at p. 1532.) Lopez rejected the distinction: "When a crime can be committed in more than one way, it is standard practice to allege in the conjunctive that it was committed every way. Such allegations do not require the prosecutor to prove that the defendant committed the crime in more than one way. ... 'When ... the accusatory pleading describes a crime in the statutory language, an offense is necessarily included in the greater offense when the greater offense cannot be committed without necessarily committing the lesser offense.' ." (Id. at pp. 1532-1533.) The court thus reasoned the statutory elements test was the only relevant test, and the trial court had no duty to instruct the jury that section 148, subdivision (a)(1) was an offense included in section 69. (Lopez, supra, 129 Cal.App.4th at p. 1533.)