In Florida, a charge of resisting an officer can result in some serious consequences. That is true whether you are charged with resisting an officer without violence or with violence.
Potential Penalties for Resisting an Officer Without Violence
Resisting an officer without violence (by, for example, refusing to obey lawful verbal commands or tensing your arms while being handcuffed) is a first-degree misdemeanor. The penalties for this offense include up to one year in jail or on probation as well as a fine of $1,000.
Potential Penalties for Resisting an Officer With Violence
If you are charged with resisting an officer with violence (which means committed or threatened to commit an act of violence toward the officer), the penalties get more severe. Resisting an officer with violence is a third-degree felony and carries penalties of up to five years in prison or on probation as well as a fine of $5,000.
Resisting an Officer Charges Can Make a Bad Situation Worse
One of the reasons you want to avoid being charged with resisting an officer—whether with or without violence—is because such a charge can lead to even more aggressive prosecution of other charges. A prosecutor may decide to be more aggressive and to seek harsher penalties for a given crime when resisting an officer charges are also in play. This can make it more difficult for your defense attorney to negotiate for a reduction or dismissal of the other charges you are facing.
Don’t Resist Getting the Help You Need
If you find yourself under arrest and the charges include resisting an officer, you need an experienced attorney right now. The attorneys of Flaherty & Merrifield Criminal Defense know how to defend you against charges of resisting an officer—and against any other charges you may be facing. Don’t wait to get the help you need to mount an effective defense. Contact us today to talk about your case and the ways we can help.