What to Know When You Are Charged With: Resisting an Officer With Violence

Under Florida State law, the charge of “Resisting an Officer With Violence” occurs when a defendant knowingly resists or obstructs police by committing or offering to commit a violent act towards an officer who is engaged in a lawful duty. The offense is a third-degree felony with penalties that often include jail or prison sentences.Resisting with Violence

Definition

Under Section 843.01 of the Florida Statutes, it is a criminal act to knowingly and willfully resist, obstruct, or oppose any law enforcement officer by committing a violent act towards the officer or “offering” to commit a violent act.

In order to prove that the crime of “Resisting Arrest with Violence” has occurred, the prosecution must establish the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the defendant knowingly and willfully resisted, obstructed, or opposed the alleged victim by offering to do violence to him/her or doing violence towards him/her;
  2. That at the time of the arrest, the alleged victim was engaged in the execution of legal process or lawful execution of a legal duty;
  3. That at the time of the arrest, the alleged victim was an officer or person legally authorized to execute legal process;
  4. That at the time of the arrest, the defendant knew the alleged victim was an officer or person legally authorized to execute legal process.

Possible Penalties

Florida State law classifies the charge of “Resisting an Officer with Violence” as a third- degree felony and carries with it possible penalties of up to 5 years in jail or prison or 5 years of probation, in addition to a $5,000.00 fine.

Jail or prison time is highly probable when charged with “Resisting an Officer with Violence” despite the existence or absence of a prior criminal history. Injuries sustained to an officer often exacerbate the likelihood of prison or jail time.

Why You Should Contact an Attorney

             There are many nuances of a potential case of “Resisting an Officer With Violence” to consider before moving forward. My experience as an Assistant State Attorney has exposed me to numerous types of these cases and their commonality lies in their differences. Given the numerous defenses available to contest these charges, an attorney is a vital asset for avoiding a conviction.

If you have question about your “Resisting an Officer With Violence” case please call my office at 407-415-9626 or email me at Jeremiah@JeremiahDAllen.com.