If you are facing charges for resisting an officer in the state of Florida, an experienced resisting arrest lawyer such as attorney Matt Shafran will give you the best chance in court. Mr. Shafran is a partner and head of the criminal defense division at Weinstein Legal and serves as a resisting arrest attorney in South Florida. Having represented countless individuals who are facing charges, both first-time and repeat offenders, Mr. Shafran will work tirelessly to fight your case and to protect your constitutional rights in a court of law.
Resisting Arrest in the State of Florida
In the state of Florida, you may face resisting arrest charges that fall into one of two categories. The first is resisting arrest without violence, and the second is resisting arrest with violence. Each of these charges carries different penalties, and the consequences range in severity.
Resisting an Officer without Violence
Florida statute §843.02 outlines the offense and consequences for resisting an officer without violence threat to that officer's body. Many individuals are surprised to learn that resisting arrest charges do not always involve a physical encounter with police officers and that, in fact, in the state of Florida, you may face charges for obstructing or opposing arrest as well as obstructing or opposing the official duties of law enforcement.
For the purpose of this statute, the term "officer" may include a member of the police force, a parole or probation officer, an administrative aide to the county, any administrator or supervisor employed by the county, or any individual with the authorization to execute a process of the law.
To resist an office without violence is a first-degree misdemeanor criminal charge.
Examples of resisting an officer without violence include:
- Disobeying the commands of law enforcement during an encounter, whether or not you are already under arrest for another offense.
- Refusing to sit down or to be handcuffed.
- Tensing your body while in the process of being handcuffed.
- Giving false or misleading information during the process of an arrest or detention.
- Not leaving an area when police direct you to.
- Interfering in a police investigation or process, including serving as a lookout for other individuals who are in the process of committing a crime.
- Fleeing, eluding, or evading an officer of the law. Mr. Shafran also serves as a fleeing and eluding defense attorney.
As you can see, there are many situations in which police may charge you with resisting arrest without violence. Some of these circumstances may be unintentional on your behalf, and you may be surprised to learn you are facing these charges. A resisting arrest attorney can help form your defense.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest without Violence
The penalties for resisting arrest without violence in the state of Florida, as a first-degree misdemeanor, include:
- Up to one year in jail
- Up to one year of probation
- $1,000 in fines
While these are the maximum state penalties for resisting arrest without violence, a judge may sentence you at their discretion. Also, you may face additional penalties and consequences for other charges incurred at the same time, as resisting arrest is often added as a supplemental charge once an individual is in custody. For your best chance at avoiding these severe consequences, contact Weinstein Legal and request attorney Matt Shafran as your resisting arrest lawyer today.
Resisting an Officer with Violence
Florida statute §843.01 outlines the consequences and penalties for the criminal charge of resisting an officer with violence. For the purpose of this legislation, the same definition of "officer" and "resisting" apply. However, state legislation states that resisting an officer with violence is a third-degree felony charge, which is much more serious than a misdemeanor offense.
Examples of resisting an officer with violence:
- Knowingly and willfully obstructing, opposing, or interfering with the duties of an officer with the act or threat of violence.
- Violence may include actions such as spitting, kicking, punching, throwing objects, and more.
- Threats of violence are perceived to be the same as an act of violence and can therefore incur the same charges.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest with Violence
A third-degree felony is something to take extremely seriously, as a conviction can have a long-lasting impact on your life. Life as a convicted felon is not always easy. Employers may deny you job opportunities and landlords or HOAs may deny you housing when your background check shows a felony conviction. Custody battles may become more challenging, you may have to turn over your firearms and weapons to law enforcement, and you may even lose your right to vote in political elections for a period of time.
Additionally, resisting arrest with violence convictions carry the following penalties:
- Up to five years in state prison
- Up to five years of probation
- Up to $5,000 in fines
Again, sentencing is up to the judge's discretion and the severity of your penalties will likely depend on extenuating circumstances such as whether you caused bodily harm or injury to the officer and whether or not a weapon was involved. Like resisting arrest without violence, this is often a supplemental charge and you may face additional penalties for other convictions.
Hiring an Attorney to Fight Resisting Arrest Charges in Florida
If you or a loved one are currently facing charges for resisting arrest in Palm Beach or Broward County, contact the Weinstein Legal Team and ask for criminal defense attorney Matt Shafran today. Mr. Shafran has years of experience in a court of law and has served as a resisting arrest lawyer many times. It is possible to build a solid defense, however, you need the right legal help and you must act swiftly.
You stand to lose many of your freedoms upon a resisting arrest conviction. Whether your charges are for resisting arrest without violence, resisting arrest with violence, as a first-time offense or a repeat offender, there is hope. Resisting arrest attorney Matt Shafran is here to fight tirelessly for your case.