Police officers are not always respectful of your rights when making an arrest. If there was a dispute between you and the arresting officer, you could find yourself facing additional charges—including Resisting an Officer with Violence. If you were in an altercation with a law enforcement officer, it's vital that you contact a Florida criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
What It Means to Resist an Officer With Violence
Florida has various offenses related to resisting arrest, including Resisting an Officer Without Violence, Resisting an Officer With Violence, and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer. In order to get a conviction for Resisting an Officer With Violence, the State must prove four elements:
- You knowingly and willfully resisted, obstructed, or opposed an officer by doing violence to them
- The officer was engaged in the execution of legal process or lawful execution of a legal duty
- The officer was legally authorized to execute the process
- You knew the person was an officer or a person legally authorized to execute the process.
Penalties for Resisting an Officer With Violence
Florida law imposes third-degree felony charges for Resisting an Officer with Violence, even if there were no serious injuries or weapons involved. If convicted, you could face up to five years in prison (or five years of probation) and fines up to $5,000. These penalties are imposed on top of any punishments for the offense that led to the arrest.
There Are Many Valid Defenses to Resisting Arrest!
The amount of physical contact required to turn resisting arrest into a more serious charge is minimal. In many cases, the “violence” was actually an attempt to escape mistreatment or physical pain imposed by the officer. Even if the officer was not using excessive force, Florida law allows many defenses that could lead to the dismissal or reduction of the charge against you.
Contact an Okaloosa County Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one have been charged with resisting an officer in Okaloosa County, call Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation.
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