Resisting Arrest in Florida
In Florida, there are two different crimes that are often referred to as “resisting.” One—Resisting an Officer without Violence—is a first-degree misdemeanor. The other—Resisting an Officer with Violence—is a third-degree felony. While resisting charges can stand on their own, they are often brought alongside other criminal charges. It is also common for this offense to involve the consumption of alcohol or other substances at the time of the incident.
Florida Statutes Section 843.02 defines the crime of Resisting an Officer without Violence as occurring when one resists, obstructs, or opposes any law enforcement officer in the lawful execution of a legal duty, without threatening or engaging in any violence toward the officer. The maximum sentence that can be imposed for this offense is 1 year in jail and a $1000
fine. 1 year of probation can be imposed instead of or in combination with jail time.
Florida Statutes Section 843.01 defines the crime of Resisting an Officer with Violence as occurring when a person knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes any law enforcement officer lawfully executing a legal duty by threatening or engaging in violent conduct against the officer. The maximum sentence that can be imposed for this offense is 5 years in prison and a $5000 fine. 5 years of probation can be imposed instead of or in combination with jail time.
There are certain defenses available to a resisting charge in Florida. Was the resisting done “knowingly”? In other words, was there an intent to resist, or were the actions involuntary? Is there a self-defense argument to be made against an officer’s unreasonable use of excessive force? Did the person arrested know the person was an officer? Were there false allegations? Was the investigation or the arrest lawful?
At the Robert Foley Law Firm, we understand that facing a charge of resisting can be very stressful and difficult for you and your loved ones. Our Fort Myers, Florida criminal defense firm will work tirelessly to develop the most effective legal defense strategy for you, and we will be by your side through 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 groundwork for your case the moment we are retained by gathering 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.