Resisting an Officer with Violence Attorney

I am an experienced resisting an officer with violence lawyer & former prosecutor who defends all Orange County & Seminole County felony Resisting and misdemeanor resisting an officer cases.  A resisting charge is too-often a catchall charge used by police officers when no crime was committed. Resisting can be verbal, physical or for passive behavior such as not following an order. I believe in hard work and personalized representation. Once hired, I will:

  1. Collect and review all written, audio and video evidence;
  2. Search for any video evidence not disclosed by the State;
  3. Determine the lawfulness of your arrest;
  4. Identify all possible defenses, and
  5. Do whatever is necessary to avoid a resisting an officer conviction.

police cars

THE FACTS OF YOUR Resisting with violence CASE ARE IMPORTANT

The constitution guarantees that people be free from illegal police conduct. It is important for you to know if any of your constitutional rights have been violated. The police must have a lawful basis for investigation and arrest. Unlawful police conduct can lead to the suppression of evidence and statements obtained after the illegal police conduct. Important questions that should be answered in any resisting an officer with violence case are:

  • Were you lawfully arrested? Did you know the person was a police officer?
  • Was the physical altercation minimal or caused by the police officer?
  • Are there other factors or motivations that show lack of intent?
  • Is there a lack of evidence or a conflict in the evidence?
  • Were you read your Miranda rights? Were any of your statements illegally obtained

What is Resisting with violence?

Under Section 843.01, Florida Statutes, it is a criminal act to knowingly and willfully resist, obstruct, or oppose any law enforcement officer by committing a violent act towards the officer or “offering” to commit a violent act.

Examples of Resisting an Officer with Violence

The most minor of actions can form the basis of a resisting an officer with violence allegation in Florida. Some examples of resisting an officer without violence are:

  1. Physically struggling with the police officer
  2. Fighting with the officer
  3. Punching or kicking the officer
  4. struggling with a police officer while being detained

All of these actions can form the basis of a resisting an officer with violence charge in Orlando, Florida.

Glass wall in the office building

How is resisting with violence proven in Florida.

To prove the crime of Resisting Arrest with Violence in Florida, the prosecution must establish the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant knowingly and willfully resisted, obstructed, or opposed the alleged victim by offering to do violence to him/her or doing violence towards him/her;
  2. At the time, the alleged victim was engaged in the execution of legal process or lawful execution of a legal duty;
  3. At the time, the alleged victim was an officer or person legally authorized to execute legal process;
  4. At the time, the defendant knew the alleged victim was an officer or person legally authorized to execute legal process.

WHAT IS RESISTING AN OFFICER WITHOUT VIOLENCE?

Even minor actions by a suspect or arrestee can form the basis of a resisting an officer without violence allegation in Florida. Some examples of resisting an officer without violence are:

  1. Struggling with a police officer while being detained
  2. Not obeying verbal commands
  3. Refusing to leave an area when lawfully ordered to do so
  4. Pulling away from the officer while being handcuffed
  5. Giving false biographical information
  6. Concealing or tampering with evidence
  7. Encouraging others to interfere with police activities
  8. Fleeing the scene

All of these actions can form the basis of a Resisting an Officer Without Violence Charge in Orlando, Florida.

YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS IN A RESISTING ARREST CASE

Every resisting an officer without violence case is different. It is important to analyze the specific facts of your case to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the State’s case against you. Important factors to consider are:

  • Were there any witnesses to the incident?
  • Were you asked to provide a written or oral statement?
  • How did you interfere with the investigation?
  • Was the police officer in the lawful execution of a legal duty?
  • What specifically, if anything, did you do to oppose the officer?
  • Was your conduct lawful?
  • Did you have the right to oppose the officer?

PENALTIES FOR RESISTING WITH VIOLENCE

Florida law classifies Resisting an Officer with Violence as a third degree felony  that is punishable by up to 5 years in prison or 5 years of probation, and a $5,000.00 fine.Other penalties include:

  • Community control, house arrest or supervised probation
  • Anger management class or counseling
  • Letter of apology
  • Community service
  • Drug evaluation and any recommended follow up treatment

Defenses to Resisting an Officer with Violence

There are many defenses available to contest a charge of resisting an officer with violence in Florida. Some of the more common defenses include the following:

  • Officer was not Executing a Legal Duty

    There are multiple defenses available to challenge a resisting arrest with violence charge in Florida. A primary defense to “Resisting an Officer” charges in Florida is establishing the officer was not executing a legal duty. If it can be shown the interaction between the suspect and police officer was a consensual encounter and the suspect was not subject to a lawful detention, then not cooperating does not constitute the offense of Resisting an Officer With Violence in Florida.

    No crime occurred

    A second defense to resisting arrest with violence is where the crime just did not happen. If there is no actual resistance, opposition, or obstruction, the offense of resisting an officer did not happen. If the arrestee’s actions were not “violent” within the meaning of the statute, crime has been committed. This is a factual determination left for the jury. Often, the officer’s allegations do not rise to level of resistance, or there is video or other evidence that contradicts the officer’s allegations. Flinching or tensing up when being handcuffed, thrown against the police car or being tackled can be seen as unintentional actions that do not rise to the level or resisting or opposing within the meaning of Florida Statute 843.01, the “Resisting an Officer With Violence” statute in Florida.

    Didn’t know the person was an officer

    A third defense to the charge of resisting an officer with violence is showing the accused was not aware the arresting officer was in fact a police officer. This is often an issue in situations where the officer is off duty or is acting in an undercover capacity. It can also become an issue where there is a crowd, or a physical altercation involving multiple parties. An accused may think someone is attacking him from behind, or may resist an officer before becoming aware that an officer has intervened.

    Excessive Force Defense

    A fourth defense to felony resisting an officer in Florida is a showing the officer used excessive force. Although a simple arrest, whether lawful or unlawful, may never be resisted with violence, any excessive force accompanying such an arrest may be defended against. Sometimes it can be shown the officer acted with a level of force that was inappropriate. In such cases, a defendant is entitled to a jury instruction on excessive force and/or self-defense (the use of non-deadly force), and can even cross-examine the officer regarding prior complaints of excessive force. Thus, an officer’s arrest history is fair game if relevant to an excessive force or self-defense claim.

Resisting an Officer Case Law

Lobb v. State, 2D18-4137 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2020). Defendant who apparently was impaired by drugs but had not lost the power of self-control when she was found sleeping in the grass was not eligible for Marchman Act detention. Officer who detained her was not in the lawful execution of a legal duty. Defendant is entitled to Judgment of Acquittal.

Jackson v. State, 4D14-972 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016) “The issue presented is whether appellant can be convicted of resisting arrest without violence when he refused to leave his home after the police, without a warrant or exigent circumstances, ordered him to come outside and submit to police custody. Because we find that ordering appellant to leave his home was unlawful, we reverse appellant’s conviction for resisting arrest without violence.”

I Defend all Felony & Misdemeanor Resisting Charges

If you have been accused of resisting an officer with or without violence in Orange County or Seminole County, call me to speak with an experienced Orange County resisting an officer with violence lawyer. I offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options. In addition to keeping extended business hours my office is open every Saturday. Call 407-740-7275 to speak directly with me.

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I am an experienced resisting an officer with violence lawyer & former prosecutor who defends all Orange County & Seminole County felony Resisting and misdemeanor resisting an officer cases.  A resisting charge is too-often a catchall charge used by police officers when no crime was committed. Resisting can be verbal, physical or for passive behavior such as not following an order. I believe in hard work and personalized representation. Once hired, I will:

  1. Collect and review all written, audio and video evidence;
  2. Search for any video evidence not disclosed by the State;
  3. Determine the lawfulness of your arrest;
  4. Identify all possible defenses, and
  5. Do whatever is necessary to avoid a resisting an officer conviction.

police cars

THE FACTS OF YOUR Resisting with violence CASE ARE IMPORTANT

The constitution guarantees that people be free from illegal police conduct. It is important for you to know if any of your constitutional rights have been violated. The police must have a lawful basis for investigation and arrest. Unlawful police conduct can lead to the suppression of evidence and statements obtained after the illegal police conduct. Important questions that should be answered in any resisting an officer with violence case are:

  • Were you lawfully arrested? Did you know the person was a police officer?
  • Was the physical altercation minimal or caused by the police officer?
  • Are there other factors or motivations that show lack of intent?
  • Is there a lack of evidence or a conflict in the evidence?
  • Were you read your Miranda rights? Were any of your statements illegally obtained

What is Resisting with violence?

Under Section 843.01, Florida Statutes, it is a criminal act to knowingly and willfully resist, obstruct, or oppose any law enforcement officer by committing a violent act towards the officer or “offering” to commit a violent act.

Examples of Resisting an Officer with Violence

The most minor of actions can form the basis of a resisting an officer with violence allegation in Florida. Some examples of resisting an officer without violence are:

  1. Physically struggling with the police officer
  2. Fighting with the officer
  3. Punching or kicking the officer
  4. struggling with a police officer while being detained

All of these actions can form the basis of a resisting an officer with violence charge in Orlando, Florida.

Glass wall in the office building

How is resisting with violence proven in Florida.

To prove the crime of Resisting Arrest with Violence in Florida, the prosecution must establish the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant knowingly and willfully resisted, obstructed, or opposed the alleged victim by offering to do violence to him/her or doing violence towards him/her;
  2. At the time, the alleged victim was engaged in the execution of legal process or lawful execution of a legal duty;
  3. At the time, the alleged victim was an officer or person legally authorized to execute legal process;
  4. At the time, the defendant knew the alleged victim was an officer or person legally authorized to execute legal process.

WHAT IS RESISTING AN OFFICER WITHOUT VIOLENCE?

Even minor actions by a suspect or arrestee can form the basis of a resisting an officer without violence allegation in Florida. Some examples of resisting an officer without violence are:

  1. Struggling with a police officer while being detained
  2. Not obeying verbal commands
  3. Refusing to leave an area when lawfully ordered to do so
  4. Pulling away from the officer while being handcuffed
  5. Giving false biographical information
  6. Concealing or tampering with evidence
  7. Encouraging others to interfere with police activities
  8. Fleeing the scene

All of these actions can form the basis of a Resisting an Officer Without Violence Charge in Orlando, Florida.

YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS IN A RESISTING ARREST CASE

Every resisting an officer without violence case is different. It is important to analyze the specific facts of your case to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the State’s case against you. Important factors to consider are:

  • Were there any witnesses to the incident?
  • Were you asked to provide a written or oral statement?
  • How did you interfere with the investigation?
  • Was the police officer in the lawful execution of a legal duty?
  • What specifically, if anything, did you do to oppose the officer?
  • Was your conduct lawful?
  • Did you have the right to oppose the officer?

PENALTIES FOR RESISTING WITH VIOLENCE

Florida law classifies Resisting an Officer with Violence as a third degree felony  that is punishable by up to 5 years in prison or 5 years of probation, and a $5,000.00 fine.Other penalties include:

  • Community control, house arrest or supervised probation
  • Anger management class or counseling
  • Letter of apology
  • Community service
  • Drug evaluation and any recommended follow up treatment

Defenses to Resisting an Officer with Violence

There are many defenses available to contest a charge of resisting an officer with violence in Florida. Some of the more common defenses include the following:

  • Officer was not Executing a Legal Duty

    There are multiple defenses available to challenge a resisting arrest with violence charge in Florida. A primary defense to “Resisting an Officer” charges in Florida is establishing the officer was not executing a legal duty. If it can be shown the interaction between the suspect and police officer was a consensual encounter and the suspect was not subject to a lawful detention, then not cooperating does not constitute the offense of Resisting an Officer With Violence in Florida.

    No crime occurred

    A second defense to resisting arrest with violence is where the crime just did not happen. If there is no actual resistance, opposition, or obstruction, the offense of resisting an officer did not happen. If the arrestee’s actions were not “violent” within the meaning of the statute, crime has been committed. This is a factual determination left for the jury. Often, the officer’s allegations do not rise to level of resistance, or there is video or other evidence that contradicts the officer’s allegations. Flinching or tensing up when being handcuffed, thrown against the police car or being tackled can be seen as unintentional actions that do not rise to the level or resisting or opposing within the meaning of Florida Statute 843.01, the “Resisting an Officer With Violence” statute in Florida.

    Didn’t know the person was an officer

    A third defense to the charge of resisting an officer with violence is showing the accused was not aware the arresting officer was in fact a police officer. This is often an issue in situations where the officer is off duty or is acting in an undercover capacity. It can also become an issue where there is a crowd, or a physical altercation involving multiple parties. An accused may think someone is attacking him from behind, or may resist an officer before becoming aware that an officer has intervened.

    Excessive Force Defense

    A fourth defense to felony resisting an officer in Florida is a showing the officer used excessive force. Although a simple arrest, whether lawful or unlawful, may never be resisted with violence, any excessive force accompanying such an arrest may be defended against. Sometimes it can be shown the officer acted with a level of force that was inappropriate. In such cases, a defendant is entitled to a jury instruction on excessive force and/or self-defense (the use of non-deadly force), and can even cross-examine the officer regarding prior complaints of excessive force. Thus, an officer’s arrest history is fair game if relevant to an excessive force or self-defense claim.

Resisting an Officer Case Law

Lobb v. State, 2D18-4137 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2020). Defendant who apparently was impaired by drugs but had not lost the power of self-control when she was found sleeping in the grass was not eligible for Marchman Act detention. Officer who detained her was not in the lawful execution of a legal duty. Defendant is entitled to Judgment of Acquittal.

Jackson v. State, 4D14-972 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016) “The issue presented is whether appellant can be convicted of resisting arrest without violence when he refused to leave his home after the police, without a warrant or exigent circumstances, ordered him to come outside and submit to police custody. Because we find that ordering appellant to leave his home was unlawful, we reverse appellant’s conviction for resisting arrest without violence.”

I Defend all Felony & Misdemeanor Resisting Charges

If you have been accused of resisting an officer with or without violence in Orange County or Seminole County, call me to speak with an experienced Orange County resisting an officer with violence lawyer. I offer a free consultation to discuss your legal options. In addition to keeping extended business hours my office is open every Saturday. Call 407-740-7275 to speak directly with me.

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