Fort Myers Resisting Arrest Defense Lawyers
While the offense of resisting arrest can be brought on its own, most often it is charged alongside one or more other criminal offenses, thereby compounding the legal risk and consequences confronting the accused. Advice and representation from a skilled legal professional are especially vital here to navigate the various charges and work toward a favorable outcome. Foley & Wilson Law Firm offers seasoned expertise in addressing all manner of criminal charges in Florida, including resisting arrest with or without violence. Contact our experienced Fort Myers resisting arrest defense lawyers for immediate assistance.
The Legal Framework of Resisting Arrest in Florida
Under Florida Statutes 843.01 and 843.02, resisting arrest can be defined as the act of resisting, obstructing, or opposing a law enforcement officer or other authorized person executing legal duties either through violence or without resorting to violence. These offenses encompass various actions against officers carrying out their legal responsibilities.
To convict someone of resisting arrest in Florida, the prosecution must establish four critical elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant actively resisted, obstructed, or opposed a law enforcement officer.
- The officer was engaged in executing legal processes or performing lawful duties.
- The officer was legally authorized to execute such processes.
- The defendant was aware that the person they were resisting or opposing was a law enforcement officer or another legally authorized individual.
Penalties for resisting arrest in Florida vary based on whether the resistance involved violence. Resisting without violence is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Resisting with violence is treated as a third-degree felony, with penalties including up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.
Defenses Against Charges of Resisting Arrest in Fort Myers
Defending against a charge of resisting arrest requires a nuanced understanding of the circumstances. Key defenses include:
- No Obstruction of Justice: Demonstrating that the defendant’s actions did not hinder the officer’s duties.
- Unlawful Arrest: If the arrest was illegal, the resistance may not constitute a criminal offense.
- Self-Defense: Used in cases where an officer employed excessive force.
- Lack of Knowledge: Arguing the defendant was unaware they were resisting a law enforcement officer.
- Actual Opposition: The resistance must be real, not merely perceived, and this determination is typically left to the jury.
- Lawful Execution of Duty: Charges may not hold if the officer was not performing a lawful duty at the time of the alleged resistance.
Contact Foley & Wilson Law Firm for Help With Charges of Resisting Arrest in Fort Myers
The attorneys at Foley & Wilson Law Firm, with their decades of experience and deep understanding of the criminal justice system, stand ready to provide exceptional legal representation in cases involving charges of resisting arrest. By meticulously examining the nuances of each case and leveraging viable defenses, they strive to safeguard the rights and dignity of their clients, ensuring a professional and skilled response to serious allegations. Call Foley & Wilson Law Firm today for a free consultation to discuss the charges against you and explore strategies and options for a favorable outcome.