A person accused of using violence to resist an officer will be charged with a third-degree felony in Florida. This is true if the officer was attempting to make an arrest or if the suspect’s actions hindered any other duties the officer was carrying out. Penalties for resisting an arrest with violence can include monetary fines and jail time. Additionally, such a conviction will appear on a criminal record.
Penalties for Resisting an Arrest with Violence
Resisting arrest with violence is charged as a third-degree felony. The standard penalties for the conviction of a third-degree felony in Florida include as much as five years imprisonment and $5,000 in monetary fines.
How Florida Defines Resisting an Arrest with Violence
Using violence – such as punching, slapping, biting, kicking, and so on – to resist an arresting officer falls under Florida’s laws that govern obstruction of justice. Those who commit obstruction of justice are charged with interfering with the duties of a police officer or other qualified officer of the court.
This is a serious criminal charge in Florida and charges can be filed in addition to the criminal charges that initiated the arrest and confrontation.
The laws state that the suspect must have knowingly or willfully resisted the officer executing a legal process, such as making an arrest.
The definition of officer includes:
- law enforcement officers;
- correctional officers;
- probation officers; and
- anyone else who is authorized to execute such an act.
Common Elements in the Defense of Resisting an Arrest with Violence
The courts must be able to prove that the accused knew the person attempting the arrest was, in fact, authorized to do so. This comes into play particularly in cases where an officer is undercover, in plain clothes, or otherwise not easily identified as a police officer.
Self defense is another common consideration in defending those charged with resisting arrest with violence. Again, this is especially relevant in cases where an officer’s identity and position were not readily apparent. It also may come into play in cases where it can be proved that an officer exerted excessive force while making an arrest.
If you’ve been charged with resisting arrest with violence or another violent criminal charge, contact a defense attorney. Call (877) 663-5110.