Resisting, opposing, or obstructing a police officer who is lawfully executing their duties is a crime in Florida considered a type of obstruction of justice. A conviction for resisting an officer without violence may result in serious fines and even possible jail time.
Most people charged with resisting an officer without violence were under extreme stress at the time. They may have been arrested and the knowledge of that was such a shock it led them to act irrationally. In other cases, the defendant may have seen or experienced a type of police brutality and was arrested as a result of resisting officers using unlawful force. No matter the circumstances, being charged with resisting an officer without violence is serious. If you or someone you know has been charged with resisting law enforcement, it’s in your best interest to retain experienced legal representation.
If you’re charged with resisting an officer without violence, then you may be forced to face the serious consequences such as hefty fines and possible time behind bars. To protect your rights and future, we highly suggest you get in contact with Terrezza Law. John Terrezza has been practicing for years and can utilize his skills for your case.
With strong legal representation you are much more likely to have your charges reduced or dismissed. That is why we highly advise you to set up your first consultation free by calling (850) 764-5291. During your appointment John Terrezza will sit with you and discuss your legal options in further detail. Terrezza Law accepts clients throughout the greater Escambia County and Santa Rosa County area including Milton, Pensacola, Navarre and Gulf Breeze.
Overview of Resisting an Officer in FL
Under Florida law, the penalties for resisting law enforcement depend on whether violence was used towards the public servant during the event. Under Florida Statute Section 843.02, you may be charged with obstructing justice if you knowingly or willfully resist, obstruct or oppose law enforcement while they are engaged in a legal duty or serving legal process.
In addition, you can be charged with obstructing justice if you resist, obstruct or oppose any of the following while they are executing a legal process or in lawful execution of a legal duty.
Resisting an officer without violence is considered a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida. If convicted, you could be facing the following penalties:
Florida law states if you knowingly or willfully resist, obstruct or oppose an officer by threatening violence or engaging in violent conduct, then you will be charged with resisting an officer with violence.
Resisting an officer with violence is a much more serious offense and can lead to a third-degree felony. The penalties for a third-degree felony include:
Many charged with resisting an officer with or without violence did so because they were under arrest or were attempting to escape incarceration for a crime. The penalties for escaping arrest or confinement, however, are even more serious than resisting an officer. Escaping from an arrest or confinement is an obstruction of justice offense in the state of Florida that can result in felony-level charges.
The crime of escaping in Florida is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by:
Some people who resisted an officer without violence did so because they were under arrest that they believed was unlawful at the time. If you’ve been charged with resisting an officer without violence because of an arrest, it’s important you understand what Florida law considers to be a lawful arrest. If the officer who arrested you violated procedures, then the judge may determine that your arrest was unlawful and could dismiss or reduce the charges.
Law enforcement must follow procedures outlined under Florida law to lawfully arrest a person. These can be found under Florida Statutes Section 901.02 which states an arrest warrant can be issued if a judge examines a criminal complaint and proofs submitted by law enforcement. The judge must then decide if there is enough probable cause for the issuance of an arrest warrant. If the Judge decides to sign the warrant, law enforcement is legally allowed to arrest the person the complaint was filed against.
Police officers can also arrest a person without a warrant in certain circumstances according to Florida Statute Section 901.15. The law states police officers can lawfully arrest a person without a warrant if any of the following factors are included in the commission of the crime:
National Police Accountability Project – Visit the official website for the non-profit organization known as NPAP or the National Police Accountability Project (NPAP), which is dedicated to protecting human and civil rights for individuals who have encounters with law enforcement.
Florida Laws for Obstructing Justice – Visit the official website for the Florida Statutes to learn more about their laws on obstruction of justice. Access the site to learn what happens if you impersonate an officer, aid in an escape, tamper with witnesses and other related crimes.
Have you been charged with a crime because you resisted an officer? Are you in need of legal counsel? If so, it may be within your best interest to contact John Terrezza at Terrezza Law. He has been defending clients accused of obstruction of justice charges for years. With his knowledge and skills, he can formulate a strong defense for your case.
Terrezza Law can advise you on the proper course of action and what your possible legal avenues are. Call us now at (850) 764-5291 to set up your first consultation free of charge. John Terrezza will examine your case and start charting out a defense plan for you as soon as possible.
Terrezza Law represents people throughout the greater Pensacola and Escambia County areas including Milton, Gulf Breeze and Navarre.