Resisting Arrest Defense in Tampa, FL

Resisting Arrest Defense in Tampa, FL

Types of Resisting Arrest Offenses in Tampa, Florida:

 

 

RESISTING ARREST WITH VIOLENCE IN TAMPA, FLORIDA

RESISTING ARREST WITH VIOLENCE IN TAMPA, FLORIDA

The offense of resisting arrest with violence in Florida 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 Arrest With Violence in Tampa, Florida?

Resisting arrest with violence in Florida 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 Arrest With Violence in Tampa, Florida Charge:

Self Defense in resisting arrest with violence in Florida

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 Arrest With Violence in Tampa 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 arrest with violence in Florida 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.

 

RESISTING ARREST WITHOUT VIOLENCE IN TAMPA, FLORIDA

RESISTING ARREST WITHOUT VIOLENCE IN TAMPA, FLORIDA

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 arrest without violence in Florida.

To prove the crime of resisting arrest without violence in Florida, 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 arrest without violence in Tampa, Florida?

  • 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 arrest without violence in Tampa, Florida case?

In Florida, resisting arrest without violence in Florida 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 arrest without violence in Tampa, Florida 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 Arrest lawyer in Tampa Florida? Contact Attorney David C. Hardy.

Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney David C. Hardy is a former prosecutor that now represents persons accused of Resisting Arrest in Tampa, Florida.  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 all types of Resisting Arrest cases.

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