Resisting Arrest without Violence Obstruction
St. Petersburg / Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyers
What is “Resisting Arrest without Violence Obstruction?”
Florida’s Resisting Arrest without Violence Obstruction statute includes a prohibition on persons who resist arrest without violence or obstruct or oppose a police officer in their performance of a legal duty. For example, a passenger of a motor vehicle who interferes with law enforcement’s efforts to conduct a DUI investigation of the driver, is often arrested for the offense of Resisting or Obstructing an Officer without Violence. Resisting Arrest without Violence & Obstruction charges may be:
- Subject to an abuse of discretion by law enforcement;
- Exaggerated in terms of the alleged conduct of the person arrested;
- Alcohol related which greatly contributed to friction between the parties.
Did You Know…
- Under Florida Law, a person is entitled to resist an unlawful arrest without violence. In other words, if the police officer was without authority to arrest you on the original underlying charge, your subsequent charge of “Resisting Arrest without Violence” is subject to dismissal;
- The prosecutor is under a burden to show that you reasonably knew or should have known that the person attempting to arrest you was in fact a sworn law enforcement officer. (This issue can arise in plain-clothes cases.);
- That if your charge involves an alleged “obstruction,” the prosecutor must show that your conduct directly interfered with a specific lawful duty being executed at the same time by a law enforcement officer.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest without Violence
- a first degree misdemeanor offense
- up to one year in the Pinellas County Jail and
- up to a $1,000 fine under Florida Statute 843.02.
This charge can be brought as a companion or second offense to another criminal charge. For example, following a DUI arrest, law enforcement officers will typically add this second charge to a motorist who is uncooperative while being handcuffed or difficult during the arrest or transport process.
Possible Solutions for a Charge fo Resisting Arrest without Violence
Side Stepping Prosecution Altogether – Our Pre-Filing Intervention: The facts of your case may suggest that arresting you for this offense may have been an inappropriate decision on the part of the police officer. Likewise, adding this second charge might be viewed as excessive or vindictive in nature. Simply because you have been arrested, does not mean that the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office has to file formal charges against you. We may be able to intervene early and provide your side of the story to the case assigned prosecutor. This strategy may be effective in persuading the State not to file a formal charge and declining to prosecute you altogether.
Getting the Charge Dismissed – Diversion Programs: The offense of “Resisting Arrest without Violence” may maye you a candidate for the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office Pre-Trial Intervention (Diversion) Program. Acceptance into this program may mean your being excused from attending court appearances at the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center in Clearwater. Your successful completion of the program will result in a dismissal of the charge.Click Here to learn more about getting your charge dismissed.
Plea Bargains – Avoiding Conviction: If it becomes necessary to negotiate a plea bargain with the Prosecutor and Judge, we may be able to raise mitigating circumstances designed to avoid formal conviction or incarceration. Click Here to learn about how a “Withholding of Adjudication” can avoid a formal criminal conviction. A negotiated final disposition or outcome may be structured to:
- Minimize risks associated with employment;
- Extend the time to pay court ordered financial costs;
- Avoid formal convictions.
We Are Experienced St. Petersburg / Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
The facts and circumstances surrounding each Resisting Arrest without Violence Obstruction charge are unique. We are former State Prosecutors who learned street-level law enforcement tactics from the inside. As such, we are well acquainted with the variety of circumstances that may have led to your arrest. As St. Petersburg / Clearwater lawyers, we are also familiar with arguments that could potentially lead to justifying or excusing your alleged conduct. We can provide you with the representation you need in defense of your case.