Resisting an Officer without Violence

We Defend All Resisting 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 am an experienced resisting an officer without violence lawyer and former prosecutor who defends all resisting an officer without violence and resisting an officer with violence allegations. I have handled hundreds of resisting arrest cases. Once hired, I will:

  1. Collect and review all written, audio & 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 officers

Defending Your Resisting an Officer Without Violence Case

I will personally handle all aspects of your resisting arrest without violence case. You will be able to contact me by phone, text or email at anytime with questions about your case. Your case will never be handed to a less experienced attorney as I am the only attorney that will meet with you and attend court with you throughout your entire case. Your case will get my full attention.

Definition of Resisting an Officer Without Violence

Resisting an officer without violence is defined in Florida Statute 843.02 as obstructing an officer while the officer is in the execution of a lawful duty. To be convicted of resisting an officer without violence, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:

  1. Willfully resisted, obstructed or opposed an officer and at the time the officer,
  2. Was engaged in the execution of a legal process or lawful execution of a legal duty,
  3. The officer was a law enforcement officer, and
  4. You knew the person was an officer at the time of the incident.

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.

Defenses for Misdemeanor Resisting Arrest Charges

Consensual Encounter

A primary defense to misdemeanor resisting 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 the act of giving false information or not cooperating does not constitute the offense of resisting an officer without violence in Florida.

Unlawful Detention

Another strong defense to misdemeanor resisting arrest is when the police officer unlawfully detains or arrest the defendant. Florida courts have recognized the right of an arrestee to resist an unlawful detention or arrest. So if the police officer does not have the legal authority to detain or arrests the subject then the arrestee has the right not to comply with the officer’s instructions. If there is no requisite level of probable cause or reasonable suspicion to arrest or detain the defendant then there is no duty to comply with the officer’s commands or instructions.

Non-criminal Conduct

A third defense to any resisting an officer charge is when the crime just did not happen. If there is no actual resistance, opposition, or obstruction, the offense of resisting an officer did not happen. This is a factual determination left for the jury. Often, the officer’s allegations do not rise to the level of resistance, or there is video or other evidence that contradicts the officer’s allegations. Flinching or tensing up when being handcuffed, being thrown against the police car or being tackled can be seen as unintentional actions that do not rise to the level of resisting or opposing within the meaning of Florida Statute 843.02, the resisting an officer without violence statute.

Protected Speech

A fourth defense to all resisting arrest charges is provided by the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution. Often, words alone are insufficient to convict someone of resisting an officer without violence in Florida. Courts have given defendants great leeway in the ability to verbally protest police action, and other than threatening the officer or inciting to act unlawfully, it is very difficult to convict someone of resisting an officer based on verbal conduct alone.

Not Aware the Person was a Police Officer

A fifth defense to the charge of misdemeanor resisting an officer charges is a 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 when there is a crowd or a physical altercation involving multiple parties. An accused may think someone is attacking him from behind and may resist an officer in this situation before becoming aware that an officer has intervened.

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?

Diversion for Misdemeanor Resisting an Officer Charges

Pre-trial diversion (PTD) is a program offered by the State Attorney’s Office for resisting an officer with and without violence. You may qualify for this voluntary program depending on the facts of your case and lack of prior criminal history. Admission to this PTD is a four-step process whereby you must be approved by the trial prosecutor, be approved by the trial attorney’s supervisor, gain the approval of the police officer and pass a background check. If you are approved for pretrial diversion and successfully complete the program, the State Attorney’s Office will drop your resisting charges.

Call Me for a Free Consultation

If you have been accused of resisting an officer charges in Orange County or Seminole County then call me to discuss your case.  I offer a free consultation and I am open six days a week.  Call me at 407-740-7275 for a free consultation.

We Defend All Resisting 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 am an experienced resisting an officer without violence lawyer and former prosecutor who defends all resisting an officer without violence and resisting an officer with violence allegations. I have handled hundreds of resisting arrest cases. Once hired, I will:

  1. Collect and review all written, audio & 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 officers

Defending Your Resisting an Officer Without Violence Case

I will personally handle all aspects of your resisting arrest without violence case. You will be able to contact me by phone, text or email at anytime with questions about your case. Your case will never be handed to a less experienced attorney as I am the only attorney that will meet with you and attend court with you throughout your entire case. Your case will get my full attention.

Definition of Resisting an Officer Without Violence

Resisting an officer without violence is defined in Florida Statute 843.02 as obstructing an officer while the officer is in the execution of a lawful duty. To be convicted of resisting an officer without violence, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:

  1. Willfully resisted, obstructed or opposed an officer and at the time the officer,
  2. Was engaged in the execution of a legal process or lawful execution of a legal duty,
  3. The officer was a law enforcement officer, and
  4. You knew the person was an officer at the time of the incident.

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.

Defenses for Misdemeanor Resisting Arrest Charges

Consensual Encounter

A primary defense to misdemeanor resisting 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 the act of giving false information or not cooperating does not constitute the offense of resisting an officer without violence in Florida.

Unlawful Detention

Another strong defense to misdemeanor resisting arrest is when the police officer unlawfully detains or arrest the defendant. Florida courts have recognized the right of an arrestee to resist an unlawful detention or arrest. So if the police officer does not have the legal authority to detain or arrests the subject then the arrestee has the right not to comply with the officer’s instructions. If there is no requisite level of probable cause or reasonable suspicion to arrest or detain the defendant then there is no duty to comply with the officer’s commands or instructions.

Non-criminal Conduct

A third defense to any resisting an officer charge is when the crime just did not happen. If there is no actual resistance, opposition, or obstruction, the offense of resisting an officer did not happen. This is a factual determination left for the jury. Often, the officer’s allegations do not rise to the level of resistance, or there is video or other evidence that contradicts the officer’s allegations. Flinching or tensing up when being handcuffed, being thrown against the police car or being tackled can be seen as unintentional actions that do not rise to the level of resisting or opposing within the meaning of Florida Statute 843.02, the resisting an officer without violence statute.

Protected Speech

A fourth defense to all resisting arrest charges is provided by the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution. Often, words alone are insufficient to convict someone of resisting an officer without violence in Florida. Courts have given defendants great leeway in the ability to verbally protest police action, and other than threatening the officer or inciting to act unlawfully, it is very difficult to convict someone of resisting an officer based on verbal conduct alone.

Not Aware the Person was a Police Officer

A fifth defense to the charge of misdemeanor resisting an officer charges is a 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 when there is a crowd or a physical altercation involving multiple parties. An accused may think someone is attacking him from behind and may resist an officer in this situation before becoming aware that an officer has intervened.

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?

Diversion for Misdemeanor Resisting an Officer Charges

Pre-trial diversion (PTD) is a program offered by the State Attorney’s Office for resisting an officer with and without violence. You may qualify for this voluntary program depending on the facts of your case and lack of prior criminal history. Admission to this PTD is a four-step process whereby you must be approved by the trial prosecutor, be approved by the trial attorney’s supervisor, gain the approval of the police officer and pass a background check. If you are approved for pretrial diversion and successfully complete the program, the State Attorney’s Office will drop your resisting charges.

Call Me for a Free Consultation

If you have been accused of resisting an officer charges in Orange County or Seminole County then call me to discuss your case.  I offer a free consultation and I am open six days a week.  Call me at 407-740-7275 for a free consultation.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email