Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence

Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence

Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence

Under Florida Law the offense of Resisting an Officer with Violence occurs when a person knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes a law enforcement officer by threatening violence or engaging in violent conduct against a law enforcement officer who was engaged in the lawful execution of a legal duty.

What does the phrase “the lawful execution of a legal duty” mean?

“The lawful execution of a legal duty” means that the law enforcement officer is engaged in official police business.

What are the maximum penalties in a Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence case?
In Florida, Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of:

5 years of imprisonment
A $5,000.00 fine
Five years of probation

Possible Defenses to a Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence Charge:

Self Defense in a Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence
Under Florida Law, a person is not justified in using force to resist an arrest by a law enforcement officer, or to resist a law enforcement officer who is engaged in the execution of a legal duty, if the law enforcement officer was acting in good faith and he or she is known, or reasonably appears, to be a law enforcement officer.

However, if an officer uses excessive force to make an arrest, then a person is justified in the use of reasonable force to defend him or herself or another, but only to the extent he or she reasonably believes such force is necessary.

The Officer was not engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties

A conviction for Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence officer requires proof that the officer was engaged in the performance of a lawful duty.  For example, in the case of Nicolosi v. State, 783 So.2d 1095 (5th DCA 2001) a female college student slapped a police officer that was working an off-duty job at a nightclub.  Because the officer was working the door checking identifications when he was slapped, the Court found that the officer was not engaged in the lawful performance of his duty but was rather working for a private employer.  Therefore, the college student could not be convicted of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer. If the State had charged the college student with resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence, the same defense would have applied.

The Defendant did not Know the Victim was a Law Enforcement Officer
A conviction for Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence requires proof that the Defendant knew the victim was a Law Enforcement Officer.  For example, if an officer was working in plain clothes in an undercover capacity and did not properly identify himself as a Law Enforcement Officer, a Defendant accused of striking that officer could claim he did not know the victim was a law enforcement officer.

Are you looking for the best Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence lawyer in Tampa Florida? Contact Attorney David C. Hardy.

Tampa Attorney David C. Hardy is a former prosecutor that now represents persons accused of Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence.  He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as an Expert in Criminal Trial Law. As a prosecutor and defense attorney, he has extensive experience handling Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence cases.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence in Hillsborough County Florida, Pinellas County Florida, or Pasco County Florida, Attorney David C. Hardy has the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide you through this process and obtain the best possible results.