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Resisting Arrest

Darren D. Shull, P.A. > Resisting Arrest

Resisting Arrest Offenses


There are two separate offenses that may be brought against an individual who resists or obstructs a police officer in Florida: Resisting/obstruction of an officer without violence and resisting an officer with violence.

843.02 Resisting/Obstructing of an Officer Without Violence
Resisting/ obstructing of an officer without violence is broad enough to cover many types of interactions with police, not just arrests.  Florida Statutes 843.02 resisting officer without violence to his or her person.—whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer; if the officer is attempting to carry out their legal duty or execute a legal process, a citizen must comply with the officer. The officer can be a typical law enforcement officer, but can also be a correctional or probation officer, or a person authorized to execute process. However, the defendant charged with resisting an officer must know that the officer was an officer, and also must knowingly, and willfully either resist, obstruct, or oppose the officer.



The two most common scenario where resisting/obstruction an officer without violence charges may be brought is when an individual flees (not in a motor vehicle) from police while the officer is attempting to arrest the individual or where a person uses a false name when lawfully detained by an Officer, which causes the officer some effort to determine the persons real identity.



Resisting an officer without violence is a first degree misdemeanor level crime. This means that an individual may face a sentence of up to 1 year incarcerated or a year on probation or a combination of both, if found guilty. However experienced legal representation may be able to help you avoid a conviction to these misdemeanor charges all together.

843.01 Resisting Officer With Violence to his or her Person;


The difference between resisting an officer with and without violence is the fact that the defendant used or threatened violence to the officer. This charge is more commonly accompanies the charge ofBatteryon a Law Enforcement Officer and is a charge that is prosecuted when there is violent contact by the suspect during an arrest. Resisting with violence usually occurs when a subject fights an officer in a attempt to avoid being taken into custody. Technically, no harm needs to actually be done to be guilty of this charge; The individual need only offer to do violence to the officer.



Resisting an Officer with Violence is a third degree felony, the maximum prison length may be up to 5 years, or 5 years of probation or any combination thereof and also may include a $5,000 fine. Again experienced legal representation may be able to help you avoid a conviction to these felony charges all if the circumstances and evidence work to your advantage.




Defenses to Resisting Arrest without Violence


If you have resisted arrest you may be able to cite the following defenses. First, if the arrest, stop, or questioning was constitutionally illegal; by violation of your constitutional or other rights, you do not have to comply with the officer. The burden of proving the arrest, stop, or interrogation was legal is up to the prosecution. Generally an officer must have probable cause to arrest a defendant. This means that if the officer did not have a warrant, the officer must have a reasonable belief, based on reliable evidence and circumstances they have observed or were told, that the arrested person had performed a crime. The officer must also be able to explain their reason; they cannot make arrests based on hunches. Remember however the above is usually litigated in court. Similarly, in order to stop an individual and question them the police officer must have a reasonable suspicion that a person was, is, or is about to commit a crime. The suspicion must also be explainable, not based on a guess or hunch.



You should always use common sense in dealing with a Police Officer who stops and detains you. If you can simply walk away by showing your ID or simply answering a few questions and being cooperative and not challenging their authority you probably won’t need the services of a lawyer to defend you and clean up your record in the first place.



Palm Beach County Defenses to Resisting an Officer with Violence


You may not, under the current state of the law Resist an Officer with Violence even if the Officer is conducting an illegal arrest of you. The law is quite clear that you can be convicted of Resisting with Violence even if an Law Enforcement Officer conducts an illegal arrest of you.



An officer is never entitled to use excessive force, it does not matter whether officer is lawfully arresting or investigating you or not. An officer’s excessive force can be a defense in your case to violently resisting an Officer; however at trial in a shouting match with the Officer, you may need additional evidence and witnesses to substantiate your defense to the Judge or Jury. If a jury believes you were only using violent force to repel excessive force used by an Officer you could be found not guilty.



Contact a Palm Beach County Resisting Arrest Attorney


The Law Offices of Darren D. Shull can help defend you against charges of resisting arrest. AS a experienced Criminal Attorney and former prosecutor inPalm Beachcounty and theTreasureCoastallow my law office defend you against charges of Resisting and Obstructing; a legal defense against these charges may be possible after a review of the case facts of your specific charges. If you need help with a resisting criminal charge, schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Darren D. Shull, P.A. by calling 561-972-6444. Our offices serve Jupiter, Tequesta,Palm BeachGardens, North Palm Beach,West Palm Beach, and all ofPalm BeachCountyand the entire Treasure coast.