What Happens if I Resist an Unconstitutional Arrest in Florida?
Under the Constitution, all US citizens are protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. So what happens if a police officer attempts to arrest you in an unconstitutional manner? This is a very complex situation, and it may make more sense to simply comply with the officer. After you connect with a defense lawyer in Fort Myers, you can discuss how to show that the arrest violated your constitutional rights.
Most States Do Not Allow Citizens to Resist Unlawful Arrests
Firstly, it is worth noting that most states do not allow citizens to resist unlawful arrests. Although the Constitution makes it quite clear that citizens cannot face unlawful arrests, only a handful of states – including South Carolina and Virginia – give citizens the right to resist. Florida is one of the many states that does not allow resisting arrests – whether they are later deemed to be lawful or not.
The Consequences of Resisting Arrest in Florida
The consequences of resisting arrest can be quite serious in Florida – although your penalties depend on the manner of your resistance. Simply obstructing a police officer is a criminal offense, and resisting arrest certainly falls into this category. If you resist arrest without uttering threats or causing injuries to others, you will face a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and various fines. For example, you might wriggle out of your handcuffs after an officer has restrained you.
If you resist arrest in a more violent manner, you face a felony of the third degree, up to five years in prison, and various fines. This includes both verbal threats and physical force. For example, you might mutter that you’re going to punch the officer in the face when you get out of jail. Or perhaps you headbutted the officer while your hands were restrained.
Compliance is the Smartest Option
Knowing your constitutional rights is important, but the Constitution does not necessarily allow you to resist arrest and escape charges. If you face arrest in Florida, the smartest choice is almost always compliance. Exercise your right to remain silent, and feel confident in your ability to eventually establish the unlawful nature of your arrest. If your arrest was indeed unlawful, you may escape charges with help from your lawyer. If you resist arrest, you could make your situation worse – and suffer physical injuries in the process. At the very least, it is important to remember that in Florida, your consequences become much worse if you resist arrest in a violent manner.
Find a Qualified, Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Myers
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Fort Myers resisting arrest attorney, look no further than the Foley & Wilson Law Firm. We have defended many honest citizens accused of resisting arrest, and we can do the same for you. Book a consultation, and we can begin discussing potential defense strategies for situations arising from unlawful arrests.