West Palm Beach Resisting Arrest Attorney David W. Olson
Resisting officer without violence to his or her person and Resisting officer with violence to his or her person are two statutes that fall under Obstructing Justice, Chapter 843, Florida Statutes. Commonly referred to as resisting arrest without violence and resisting arrest with violence, a conviction for resisting officer with violence can potentially result in a third degree felony, a prison sentence of up to five years and/or a $5,000 fine.
If you were charged with resisting arrest it is advisable to retain an experienced and effective criminal defense attorney immediately. Attorney David Olson has successfully represented thousands of clients charged with serious felonies and misdemeanors, including many who have been charged with resisting arrest. In many of those cases the charges were dismissed, reduced or otherwise favorably resolved. Attorney Olson offers a free phone or in-office case review.
Resisting Officer Without Violence Statute
§843.02 Resisting officer without violence to his or her person.—Whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer as defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8), or (9); member of the Florida Commission on Offender Review or any administrative aide or supervisor employed by the commission; county probation officer; parole and probation supervisor; personnel or representative of the Department of Law Enforcement; or other person legally authorized to execute process in the execution of legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty, without offering or doing violence to the person of the officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
Who is Legally Authorized to Make an Arrest?
- Anyone legally vested by the state and empowered to bear arms and make arrests.
- Generally, all law enforcement officers, e.g., FDLE officers, police, sheriffs, deputies, highway patrol officers, and,
- Correctional officers, probation officers and those authorized to execute process.
Understanding and Proving Resisting Officer Without Violence
What does resisting mean within the context of this statute? It is illegal to:
- Resist, and/or,
- Obstruct, and/or,
- Oppose an arrest
According to the Standard Florida Jury Instructions, all of the following four elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for the state to meet its burden of resisting officer without violence:
- The defendant resisted, obstructed or opposed the arrest.
- The officer was engaged in the execution of legal duty.
- The arresting person was an officer or authorized to execute process.
- At the time of the arrest, the defendant knew the arresting individual was an officer or legally authorized to execute process.
A conviction for resisting without violence can potentially result in a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Resisting Officer With Violence Statute
§843.01 Resisting officer with violence to his or her person.
Whoever knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes any officer as defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8), or (9); member of the Florida Commission on Offender Review or any administrative aide or supervisor employed by the commission; parole and probation supervisor; county probation officer; personnel or representative of the Department of Law Enforcement; or other person legally authorized to execute process in the execution of legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty, by offering or doing violence to the person of such officer or legally authorized person, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
Understanding and Proving Resisting Officer With Violence
Resisting officer with violence is similar to resisting without violence, other than the addition of actual harm or threats of harm to the arresting officer. In order to prove resisting officer with violence, the State must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, all four elements:
- Defendant knowingly and willfully resisted or obstructed or opposed the arresting officer by offering to do violence or by actually doing violence.
- At the time, the arresting officer was engaged in the execution of legal process or lawful execution of a legal duty.
- At the time, the victim was an officer or a person legally authorized to execute process.
- At the time, the defendant knew the victim was an officer or a person legally authorized to execute process.
Defending Against Resisting Without or With Violence
There are various defenses that may be employed to defend against resisting arrest, including, but not limited to the following examples:
- Challenging whether or not the arrestee actually resisted the arrest;
- Bodily reflexes – the arrestee may have naturally raised his or her arms reflexively to protect the face or body from perceived or actual injury during the arrest;
- Unlawful arrest – where an arrest lacks probable cause and the arrestee resists without violence;
- Arrestee did not know the officer was performing within his or her duty as an officer;
- Arrestee did not perceive the officer was actually an officer – e.g., the officer was not in uniform and the arrestee did not reasonably believe the individual was authorized to make an arrest.
- Every case is unique and should be discussed with your attorney.
David W. Olson, West Palm Beach Resisting Arrest Criminal Defense Attorney
For more than three decades, Attorney David Olson has represented thousands of clients accused of serious felonies and misdemeanors, including DUI, drug possession and trafficking, assault, theft offenses, white collar crimes, sex offenses, violation of probation, juvenile matters, murder, internet crimes and more.
Attorney Olson has been recognized by the legal community and his clients:
- AV Preeminent – 5.0 out of 5.0 – rated by his peers for legal ability and high ethical standards;
- Top 1% – Awarded to only the top one percent of all attorneys nationally;
- Top 100 – The National Trial Lawyers.
Attorney David Olson provides zealous, focused and effective legal representation. He handles every case personally and will always seek the most favorable outcome possible. Possible case options include, but are not limited to, dismissals, plea negotiations, pretrial diversion program, treatment programs, probation, community service and other alternatives to incarceration.
Attorney Olson quickly returns client’s phone calls and emails and keeps clients apprised of case developments. He is accessible and truly desirous of serving his clients.
Attorney Olson represents clients in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, South Florida and throughout the state. For a complimentary case review, contact the Law Offices of David W. Olson at 561-833-8866.
Florida Statutes, §§843.01, 843.02, (2015)
Florida Standard Jury Instructions 21.1 Resisting Officer with Violence;
Florida Standard Jury Instructions 21.2 Resisting Officer Without Violence