A Seminole County resisting an officer without violence charge is a serious criminal offense. Under Chapter 843, Florida Statutes, the charge of resisting arrest without violence or resisting an officer without violence is considered a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, one year probation or any combination of the two. A Seminole County resisting arrest without violence is also punishable by a $1,000 fine. If you have been accused of resisting arrest without violence in Seminole County or the surrounding areas, call 407-883-6853 today to set up a free consultation. Seminole County Criminal defense attorney Kevin J. Pitts is a former Florida prosecutor and has handled hundreds of resisting without violence cases in Central Florida as a former prosecutor and defense attorney.
The statutory basis for a misdemeanor resisting without violence charge in Florida is Section 843.02 of the Florida Statutes. The law is stated 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 state attorney must establish beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt the following four 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 Winter Springs resisting an officer without violence or resisting arrest without violence is piled on by police along with other charges. This increases the likelihood of the prosecutor getting a conviction because it forces the accused to confront multiple charges. A resisting charge can be proven solely by the testimony of the police officer.
Seminole County Resisting Arrest Defenses
In Florida you are allowed to resist an unlawful arrest without violence. If the police officer does not have a legitimate legal basis to arrest you on the original underlying charge, your charge of "Resisting Arrest without Violence in Sanford" 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 for a Longwood resisting arrest charge. (This is common with undercover officers.).
If your charge involves the accusation of "obstruction," the state must establish that your conduct directly interfered with a specific lawful duty being executed at the same time by a law enforcement officer. Foul language and bad manners will often get you arrested but should not get you convicted of an Altamonte Springs 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 in a Lake Mary resisting arrest without violence case.