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Albaugh Law Firm Over 70 Years of Combined Legal Experience
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Resisting an Officer Without Violence in Florida

You’ve probably heard the term “resisting arrest” on many occasions, especially on TV or in the movies. Usually, a police officer is depicted as trying to arrest someone and the person shouts obscenities, refuses to get out of their car, refuses to be detained, or runs away from the cop. Once the officer catches up to the suspect, he or she slaps on the handcuffs and tells them they’re being arrested for “resisting arrest.”

All states have laws on the books about resisting arrest, and Florida is no exception. In light of the recent George Floyd incident, a lot of people are questioning law enforcement’s arrest methods, what it means to resist an arrest, and what an officer’s reaction should be when a suspect doesn’t let themselves be arrested easily. In any case, no one should be dragged from their car, pinned to the ground by an officer’s knee, and choked to death as they begged for air as Floyd was.

When an Office is Resisted Without Violence

In Florida, when someone resists an officer without violence to the officer, they commit an offense under Section 843.02 of the Florida Statutes. Under Sec. 843.02, whenever someone resists, obstructs, or opposes a law enforcement officer, county probation officer, parole or probation supervisor, or a personal representative of the Department of Law Enforcement, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by:

  • A maximum fine of $1,000, or
  • Not more than one year in jail

If the suspect does use violence against an officer, he or she is guilty of an offense under Section 843.01 of the Florida Statutes, a felony of the third degree. A third-degree felony in Florida is punishable by up to five years in prison, or by a fine not to exceed $5,000, or by a fine and imprisonment.

Next: Can I Travel Abroad with a Felony Record?

Have you been accused of resisting an officer with our without violence? If so, contact Albaugh Law Firm at once for a hard-hitting defense!

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