Consequences of Resisting Arrest in Florida

In Orlando, along with everywhere else in Florida, it is against the law to resist a police officer, even if you do it non-violently. Whether or not violence is used, there are specific punishments for this type of crime.

There are two different types of crimes regarding resisting an arrest. One is ‘with violence,’ and the other is ‘without violence.’ What they have in common is that there is some kind of physical activity performed by the individual being arrested. A person can be walking or running away from an officer and be considered to be resisting arrest.

Resisting Arrest Without Violence

The individual must perform specific actions to be charged with resisting arrest without violence. At the same time, even just words can be grounds for being charged with the crime. Resisting an officer without violence can include the following scenarios:

  • Lying to an officer
  • Warning other people that police are coming
  • Providing an alias while being arrested
  • Running away from an officer after being told to stop
  • Refusing to put one’s hands behind their back
  • Not getting up
  • Giving an officer a physically hard time when they attempt to handcuff the person

Penalties for Resisting an Officer Without Violence

Penalties for this crime in Orlando can see the individual charged with a misdemeanor in the first degree. The conviction can see a person spending up to one year in jail and receiving a fine of $1,000.

Defenses for Resisting Arrest Without Violence

Certain defenses can be used against the charge of resisting arrest. One of the most common is that the individual’s actions were involuntary due to pain caused by an officer while being handcuffed. Oftentimes excess movement could be misconstrued by the officer as resisting.

Of course, police officers also must be lawful when arresting someone. The officer must have probable cause to detain a person. If they did not, they were out of bounds and did not perform a lawful act. In that situation, the person would not be guilty of resisting an officer.

If the officer didn’t identify themselves as a police officer, the defendant would be in the clear and considered not guilty. A police officer is obligated to provide proof to someone being arrested that they are indeed an officer.

Resisting Arrest With Violence

Resisting an officer with violence is more severe because of the violent nature it entails. The individual being arrested can initiate the act, or the force can come as a result of police brutality. Either way, these charges are grave and have serious consequences.

Penalties for Resisting an Officer With Violence

This crime is charged as a felony in the third degree and includes up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. If someone has been charged with a first-time offense for resisting arrest without violence, in most counties, he is looking at a diversion or intervention program. If you’ve never been arrested before and charged with any crime, in most cases, if the police or cop agrees to it, you’ll probably be eligible for the first offender program. The first offender program will get the charge dropped.

Defenses for Resisting With Violence

Typical defenses for resisting arrest with violence involve proving that the officer didn’t act lawfully. For instance, if an officer was working a second job, such as at a nightclub, a person could not be guilty of resisting arrest because the officer was not working in his or her regular capacity.

If the officer unlawfully entered a person’s home, frisked someone, or detained someone, the charge could be thrown out as well. An individual can invoke self-defense in these cases. However, this may be complicated, and each case is different. A lawyer can best advise what to do in this situation.

The Orlando criminal defense lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm can inform you of your legal options regarding resisting arrest charges and help get the charge dropped altogether. Contact us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation.

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