Being placed under arrest is a can be a very difficult time for anybody. It’s an emotional and stressful event. Obeying requests of an investigating officer is very important during this time and a failure to follow an officer’s requirements may result in additional charges. Resisting arrest charges in Florida are oftentimes a collateral charge to an underlying issue. Resisting arrest carries penalties that can severely impact your case. Florida currently has laws in place for resisting arrest using violence and resisting arrest without violence.
Under Florida Statute 843.02, during an arrest, any non-violent action that interferes with a police officer who is performing a legitimate action related to law enforcement is considered resisting arrest without violence or obstruction of justice. The addition of this charge can increase the likelihood of a conviction. Examples of non-violent resistance acts include:
The testimony of an arresting police officer is often the only proof available, and seemingly minor actions can represent resistance. Currently resisting arrest without violence conviction is a first-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is a $1,000.00 fine and up to one year in jail.
Under Florida Statute 843.01, willfully resisting and obstructing an arresting officer by committing an act of violence towards the officer is resisting arrest with violence. The charge may also be filed if an individual “offers” to commit an act of violence towards the arresting officer. Resisting arrest with violence is a third-degree felony in Florida. If convicted, a person can face up to five years in prison or up to five years on probation and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Many of these types of cases involve the credibility of witnesses and this oftentimes means that there will be a heavy reliance on only what the arresting officer will say in his report and in court. Although, in more and more situations, body-worn cameras will come into play. The deck is often stacked against you in a resisting case, and as such, it’s very important to an experienced lawyer who has the skill set to fully investigate the arrest and from that investigation consider the availability of certain defenses, which may include:
Resisting an Officer with or without violence is a serious criminal charge, and can often be defended on both legal and factual grounds. At O’Halloran and Foley, we understand that facing a charge of resisting can be very stressful and difficult for you and your loved ones. Our Charlotte County, Florida criminal defense firm will work tirelessly to develop the most effective legal defense strategy for you, and we will stand by you throughout the entire criminal process. Whether you have just been arrested, arraigned, or have an upcoming court date, we are available to represent you on short notice. We will begin laying the strategy for your case the moment we are hired and we’ll start by obtaining all of the evidence the State Attorney will rely on in bringing your case to trial. Contact us for a free initial consultation, 24/7.