The Resisting Arrest Statute in Florida doesn’t specifically mention arrest. The law, according to Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals, “is intended to apply to any situation where a person willfully interferes with the lawful activities of the police. Nothing indicates that it applies only when police are arresting a suspect.” The crime is one of Obstructing Justice, which makes it illegal to resist an officer “in the execution of legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty.”
They can charge you with resisting for not obeying a command, refusing to leave the scene — or refusing to stay at the scene. Maybe you gave a crowd-control cop some backtalk, or you were slow to sit down, or you refused to stand up. Experts say that the charge of resisting an officer, which is said to be widely abused by police, is largely a matter of perceived disrespect for the law. There are many ways to beat charges of resisting. Call 407-349-4211 for a free consultation with an expert Orlando criminal defense attorney at the Rivas Law Firm.
Police see a failure to do as you’re told during an arrest as flagrant disrespect. The charge of resisting arrest is often a form of punishment for failure to obey. Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said that “police culture is built on a code of asserting dominance,” noting that some in law enforcement have a “warrior mentality.” It follows that, as one expert said, that often “when people ignore officers’ commands and argue their innocence, arrests turn violent.” Nonetheless, judges usually side with cops who contend that defendants brought physical violence on themselves by resisting.
Resisting an Officer without Violence
Resisting an Officer without Violence Statute, Florida Section 843.02, is basically not cooperating with police commands. Even passive resistance, like refusing to answer a question or not responding to a command, can be interpreted as resisting arrest. Resisting charges are often wielded during periods of civil unrest as a means of crowd control and suppression.
Prosecutors charged several people arrested by Orlando police and Orange County deputies during recent protests in Central Florida with resisting arrest. People who use their cell phones to record videos of police making arrests can be hit with resisting arrest charges.
Resisting without violence is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Resisting an Officer with Violence
If upon being taken into custody, you supplement your surly and defiant demeanor with physical violence, you’ll likely be charged with Resisting an Officer with Violence to His or Her Person. It’s a violation of Florida Statute 843.01, “Threatening violence or engaging in violent conduct against a law enforcement officer engaged in the lawful execution of a legal duty.” It’s a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison plus probation and a
Resisting Arrest Charge Defense
How to get resisting arrest charges dropped. An aggressive and experienced criminal defense lawyer can help if you are facing resisting arrest charges in Florida. Arresting officers make charges at their discretion. They can be very subjective. They are often add-on charges, which an officer may use to help justify your arrest for something else. Prosecutors are generally happy to tack on the charge because it tends to make a defendant look guilty.
But an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney will conduct his own thorough investigation. Your lawyer will obtain and review all of the state’s evidence, including all video and audio recordings. A good attorney will challenge the prosecution’s case at every turn.
For example, is the charge justified? Prosecutors recently dropped resisting arrest chargesagainst an Orange County man because the cops never gave the guy the chance to resist. A deputy pulled up at the scene and immediately tased the man and slapped the cuffs on. Other examples include an officer not having proper grounds or probable cause to make an arrest. Courts have dismissed charges in cases in which it determined that “police had no reasonable suspicion that the defendant was involved in criminal activity.”
If you face criminal charges in Florida, you’ll want the best criminal defense attorney you can get to fight for you. Consider the Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Rivas Law Firm.
Call 407-349-4211 for a free consultation.