Resisting Officer Without Violence Fla. Statute 843.02
Resisting an Officer Without Violence is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, one year of probation, or a $1000.00. The crime occurs when someone interferes with the police or does not comply with their lawful commands. The statute for resisting reads “Whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any [law enforcement or probation] officer or other people legally authorized to execute the process . . . In the law execution of a legal duty, without offering or doing violence to the person of the officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree . . .”
Examples include resisting the application of handcuffs, running from the police after a lawful command to stop, refusing to obey a lawful command, or interfering with official police business. Police sometimes add this charge on when someone that is being arrested for another crime, actively resists the arrest. However, where the defendant is simply tensing up due to pain or uncomfortableness of the handcuffs, a conviction should not stand.
Resisting Officer With Violence Fla. Statute 843.0
The crime of resisting an Officer With Violence occurs when someone “knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes a law enforcement officer by threatening violence or engaging in violent conduct against a law enforcement officer … in the execution of a legal duty, by offering or doing violence…”. Resisting with violence is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, or a $5000.00 fine. Prosecutors do tend to take this type of offense very seriously and will prosecute aggressively.
Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Fla. Stat. 784.07
Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, or a $5000.00 fine. In order to prove this offense, the State must prove that 1) the defendant intentionally touched or struck the victim against his or her will, 2) the victim was a law enforcement officer or another qualifying person such as a firefighter, etc., 3) the defendant knew the victim was an officer, and 4) the victim was engaged in the execution of a lawful duty.
Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer (5 year minimum mandatory)
If the conduct rises to the level of aggravated battery, the crime is much more serious and becomes a First-degree Felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. This offense carries a 5-year minimum mandatory prison sentence, which means anyone convicted of such an offense has to do 5 years, day for day (no gain time).
DEFENSES TO CRIMES AGAINST POLICE AND OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
There are defenses applicable such as the lack of a legal duty on the part of the officer, self-defense, and lack of knowledge that the person is a police officer or other qualified law enforcement officer.
It should be noted that force cannot legally be used to resist arrest, even if the arrest is unlawful. However, force may be used in self-defense against excessive force. Those situations are heavily fact-specific and will likely be up to a judge or jury to decide.
Another defense to these types of crimes would be self-defense against the use of excessive force by police. In the past, it was very tough to prove excessive force because typically it was the citizen’s word against the police. Judges and juries would often defer to the police and their version of the facts. Now that body cameras are usually standard operating procedure, a defendant stands a better chance to prove his or her innocence where police use excessive force.
Resisting Officer Without Violence is very difficult to defend because of the fact that the statute is written very broadly. The primary defense to this charge would be that the officer was “not engaged in a legal duty”; in other words, the cop did not have the right to do what he or she was doing. An example of this would be if the officer did not have the right to stop the defendant in the first place, or the command of the officer was not lawful.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime against law enforcement, it is crucial to hire an attorney that knows how to defend against these types of accusations.
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