Resisting an Officer with Violence
Resisting an Officer With Violence
Resisting an Officer with Violence is usually charged when an officer responds to some kind of dispute or is in the process of making an arrest. The officer typically gives some kind of command, like a command to leave the area, or a command to relent to an arrest (i.e. "Place your hands behind your back"). Any physical resistance offered by the citizen will usually be construed as a violation of the Resisting an Officer with Violence statute. This statute is often overcharged by law enforcement officers. Call SLG's criminal defense attorneys for a free consultation on your Resisting an Officer with Violence case to discuss what we can do to help you.
- You knowingly and willfully resisted, obstructed, or opposed the victim by offering to him or her violence, or by doing violence to him or her, and
- at the time, the victim was engaged in the execution of legal process or lawful execution of a legal duty, and
- at the time, the victim was an officer or a person legally authorized to execute process, and
- at the time, you knew the victim was an officer or a person legally authorized to execute process.
This is rarely a litigated element in court as almost all resisting without violence cases stem from an interaction between a uniformed officer and a citizen. The following qualify as an "officer" under the statute:
- law enforcement officer
- correctional officer
- correctional probation officer
- part-time law enforcement officer
- part-time correctional officer
- auxiliary law enforcement officer
- auxiliary correctional officer
- member of 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 (FDLE)
- or other person legally authorized to execute process in the execution of legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty (process server)
Resisting an Officer with Violence is a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. This is simply the maximum possible punishment allowable under the law. The court has discretion to sentence a person anywhere from probation up to 5 years in prison and will look to the sentencing guidelines to aid the court in that determination. Other potential options available are convincing the prosecution that there is not enough evidence to proceed, filing legal motions to dismiss and/or suppress, negotiating a misdemeanor disposition, probation, and more. Every case is different and the facts of the case, along with prior criminal history and other factors will affect which options are viable. Call our criminal defense lawyers to discuss your options.
The most common defenses to Resisting an Officer with Violence are that you did not use or offer violence or resist and/or that the officer was not in the legal execution of his or her duties. For example, if the officer is in the process of an illegal search or seizure, you would have the defense that the resistance was not offered while the officer was in the legal execution of his or her duties. Also, your criminal defense attorney and the prosecutor may disagree on what the term "violence" means. Each case is different and there may be several fact specific defenses. Give SLG's criminal defense attorneys a call to discuss the possible defenses in your case.
Resisting an Officer with Violence,
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