There are times when people being questioned by police regarding a traffic offense, DUI, or who may be suspected of committing some other offense, are suddenly arrested and charged with resisting arrest without violence.
In Florida, this is also referred to as an obstruction of justice charge. In many instances, the person arrested is also charged with the offense for which they were being questioned or investigated.
If you questioned a police officer why you were stopped or even hesitated when the officer asked you to do something, the officer could have determined that you were resisting his or her authority and arrested you. Officers who feel they must assert their authority or who misinterpreted your motives may have unreasonably arrested you for this offense. This happens all too often and juries do not like the police unlawfully asserting their power. Don’t let this happen to you.
Florida Statute 843.02 is the relevant statute. The elements of resisting arrest without violence are as follows:
- Resisting, obstructing or opposing a law enforcement officer;
- Who is executing a legal duty;
- Without offering or doing violence
Examples of resisting arrest without violence
- Officer unreasonably detains a person without articulable suspicion of illegal activity
- Officer wishes to conduct a search without a warrant
- Suspect refuses to answer any questions
- Suspect argues with the officer
- Suspect refuses to enter a police vehicle
- Suspect hesitates in responding to officer
Profiling refers to a situation where an officer stops someone because of their ethnic or racial appearance or mode of dress and attempts to question him or her. Anyone would feel their rights are violated by being detained and accused of illegal activity, and a normal reaction would be to resist or hesitate before cooperating. If a jury can understand your actions oftentimes they will not find you guilty of resisting arrest because your actions were reasonable under the circumstances.
Resisting arrest without violence is a first degree misdemeanor in Florida and carries the possibility of a 1 year jail sentence, 1 year of probation and up to $1000 in fines.
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This offense is largely subjective and open to interpretation. In many cases, the defendant was not lawfully detained or it was apparent the officer was racially profiling the suspect. As a result, it is very important to face any charge that lead to the arresting charge. In other instances, the defendant was merely exercising his or her constitutional rights in remaining silent. And many times, the police officer is over stepping his/her authority.
Trust your case to attorneys who will not back down, will thoroughly investigate all the facts of your case, and who have a proven record of successfully defending numerous clients facing resisting arrest without violence charges.
Contact The Wiseman Law Firm today for a free consultation.