Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer Without Violence

Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer Without Violence

Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer Without Violence

Often times when police try to make an arrest, they claim that a suspect resists them by running away, or refusing to put their arms behind their backs to avoid be handcuffed.  Acts like these may constitute the offense of Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer Without Violence.

To prove the crime of Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer Without Violence, the prosecutor must prove the following:

  1. The accused resisted, obstructed, or opposed the victim.
  1. At the time, the victim was engaged in the execution of legal process or the lawful execution of a legal duty.
  1. At the time, the victim was an officer or a person legally authorized to execute process.
  1. At the time, the accused knew that the victim was an officer or a person legally authorized to execute process.

What does the phrase“to execute legal process” mean?
To “execute legal process” is another way of saying “to serve subpoenas or warrants.”

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 some examples of behavior that constitute Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer Without Violence? 
Running from police when there is reasonable suspicion the suspect has committed a crime.

Tensing arms while being handcuffed.

Refusing to place one’s hands behind one’s back.

Giving false information during a lawful arrest or detention.

What are the maximum penalties in a Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer With Violence case?
In Florida, Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer Without Violence is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of:

One year of imprisonment
A $1,000.00 fine
12 months of probation

Possible Defenses to a Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer Without Violence Charge

The Officer was not “engaged in the performance of a lawful duty” when the resisting occurred.  
A conviction for Resisting an Officer Without Violence requires proof that the officer was “engaged in the performance of a lawful duty when the resisting occurred,” and not just that the officer was “on the job.”

For example, in the case of L.O. v. State, 44 So.3d 1290 (2010) a deputy investigating a robbery approached a juvenile near the scene of the robbery and asked the juvenile to identify himself. The juvenile responded that he was not giving his name because he had not done anything wrong. The deputy then attempted to handcuff the juvenile at which time the juvenile tried to run away. The deputy arrested the juvenile and charged him with Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer Without Violence.

An appeals court ruled the deputy’s attempt to arrest the juvenile was unlawful because the deputy did not have sufficient evidence that the juvenile had committed any crime.  Therefore, the deputy was not “engaged in the performance of a lawful duty” when he tried to make the arrest.  Consequently, the juvenile could not be convicted of Resisting an Officer Without Violence for trying to run away.

The Defendant did not Know the Victim was a Law Enforcement Officer
A conviction for Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer Without 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 running from 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 Without 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 Without 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 Without Violence cases.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer Without 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.