What is Resisting Arrest?
Resisting arrest is a common charge in Florida and often there is no independent evidence, but only the word of the officer. It is the burden of the state to show that your conduct interfered with the lawful duty of the officer. As a former prosecutor, I’m well acquainted with the tactics used to arrest and charge individuals. This gives me a unique perspective and advantage when defending clients. Our goal is to protect your rights and avoid having this on your record.
The best option is to avoid resisting arrest. There are thousands of examples where people have been injured, even killed in some cases by police officers attempting to make an arrest. If the officer feels in any way that you are not cooperating, they may decide to add this charge. Each additional charge creates a bad optic in court. It makes your case more complex and more costly to defend. It is imperative you hire a competent and capable criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible after being arrested.
Put us on your side of the courtroom today. Call the Law Office of David A. Webster, P.A. at 407-862-9222, we have legal strategies that often get these charges reduced or even dropped.
Types of Resisting Arrest Charges
There are two types of resisting arrest: with or without violence. The best way to avoid this charge is to cooperate with law enforcement as best as you can. It is true that you do have the right to remain silent and anything you say can and will be used against you. Do not run away. Everything you do at this point is important for your defense.
Resisting an officer without violence is a First-Degree Misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, one-year probation, and up to $1,000 in fines. Some examples include (but are not limited to):
- Walking/running away from the officer
- Giving false or misleading information
- Hiding evidence
- Tensing up
- Evading police
- Warning another suspect
Resisting an officer with violence is defined as any willful and violent act that obstructs police in their legal duties. It is a Third-Degree Felony punishable by up to five years in prison, five years’ probation, and up to $5,000 in fines.
Building Your Defense
Resisting arrest is a charge frequently applied by law enforcement and for a variety of reasons. Even if the charge is justified, it is possible to have these charges dropped with the help of our criminal defense team.
The burden of proof is on the State, and there is a high bar set for obtaining a conviction. They have to prove you did in fact resist or obstruct the officer from doing his duty. They have to prove the officer was acting within the scope of the law, process, and execution of duty. They also have to present evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.
Convictions can be expensive and can have long-term impacts on your life. Our criminal defense lawyers implore numerous strategies to fight resisting arrest charges, some of the common legal arguments are defined below. It is crucial to have an experienced defense attorney by your side, call today for a case evaluation. We may be able to have your charges dropped.
- Pre-Filing Intervention, based on the merits of your case. This strategy may persuade the State to not file a formal charge or decline to prosecute you all together.
- False Allegations, where the arresting officer may have been impatient with you, didn’t like your tone, may have had a bad day, or filed the charge out of spite.
- Unlawful Arrest, where the officer did not have a justifiable reason to make an arrest.
- Involuntary Reaction, the charge was based on a natural reaction to excessive force.
- Lack of Proof, the word alone of an officer is often not sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction, therefore these charges may be dismissed.
Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to Handle Your Case
Any conviction can show up on your permanent record. The sooner you hire us, the sooner we can get started on your defense strategy. We are prepared to aggressively defend you in court and seek the best outcome in your case. We encourage you to contact The Law Office of David A. Webster, P.A. as soon as possible to learn more about your case and how we can help you: 407-862-9222.