A Daytona Beach resisting an officer without violence case is a serious criminal offense. Under Chapter 843, Florida Statutes, the charge of resisting arrest without violence or resisting an officer without violence is classified as a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail or probation and a $1,000 fine. If you have been accused of a Daytona Beach resisting arrest without violence, call 386-451-5112 today to set up a free consultation. Daytona Beach criminal defense attorney Kevin J. Pitts is a former Daytona Beach prosecutor and has handled hundreds of resisting without violence cases in Volusia County as a defense attorney and prosecutor.
The statutory basis for a misdemeanor resisting without violence charge in Florida is Section 843.02 of the Florida Statutes. The law states as follows:
Whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any [law enforcement or probation] officer or other person legally authorized to execute process . . . In the law execution of a legal duty, without offering or doing violence to the person of the officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
To prove a charge of resisting an officer without violence at trial, the prosecution must establish beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt the following elements:
- The defendant resisted, obstructed, or opposed a law enforcement officer;
- At the time, the officer was engaged in the execution of legal process or the lawful execution of legal duty;
- The officer was a person legally authorized to execute process; and
- At the time, the defendant knew that the person resisted, obstructed, or opposed was in fact an officer or other person legally authorized to execute process.
In many cases, a Daytona Beach resisting an officer without violence or resisting arrest without violence is stacked on by police to supplement other charges. This practice increases the likelihood of a charge sticking because it forces the accused to confront multiple charges. A resisting charge can be proven solely by the testimony of the police officer.
Daytona Beach Resisting Arrest Defenses
In Florida you are allowed to resist an unlawful arrest without violence. If the police officer does not have a valid legal basis to arrest you on the original underlying charge, your subsequent charge of "Resisting Arrest without Violence in Daytona Beach" should be dismissed.
The prosecutor has the burden to establish that you reasonably knew or should have known that the person attempting to arrest you was in fact a sworn law enforcement officer. (This is common with undercover officers.).
If your charge involves an alleged "obstruction," the state must show that your conduct directly interfered with a specific lawful duty being executed at the same time by a law enforcement officer. Simply cursing and being rude will often get you arrested but should not get you convicted of a Daytona Beach obstructing an officer charge.
Tensing up from pain may not be resisting and if the officer uses excessive force the accused is entitled to a special jury instruction. Under these circumstances tensing up or pulling away can be understandable and becomes a factual issue for the jury to consider.