Most people tend to think that resisting arrest involves fighting or trying to flee from an officer. That's not the case. Some states, including Florida, have two different resisting laws: resisting arrest without violence and resisting arrest with violence. Both can land you in legal trouble, even if you didn’t realize you were resisting at the time.
Resisting Arrest Without Violence
In states like Florida, statutes exist that can land someone in jail for resisting even if they did so without any noticeable violence. Attempting to obstruct an officer in the process of an investigation can be grounds for charging you with resisting without violence. So, too, can verbally resisting.
Tensing your muscles while handcuffed, refusing to sit or stand, refusing to put your arms behind your back, or even refusing to leave when ordered to can get you in legal trouble. Offering any kind of opposition to law enforcement during an investigation can be grounds for resisting arrest without violence.
Resisting Arrest With Violence
This is the charge people tend to think about when they hear the phrase resisting arrest. Actively fighting law enforcement or trying to wrestle your arms away from them while they're handcuffing you can be grounds for a resisting arrest with violence charge. Although penalties differ, expect stiffer penalties on charges of resisting arrest with violence than without violence.
Resisting arrest without violence in the state of Florida is considered a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Resisting arrest with violence, however, is considered a third-degree felony with a fine up to $5,000 dollars and jail time up to 5 years and 5 years on probation. It is, without doubt, the more serious of the two charges.
Those are the legal consequences. The personal consequences could be catastrophic. You could lose your job, as well. Any number of consequences might blindside you if you're facing a resisting arrest charge. Things could get far worse if you're convicted.
Retain Experienced Legal Counsel Today
If you've been charged with resisting arrest or if you know someone who's been charged, you'll do yourself, or them, a favor by getting in contact with a Florida criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The experienced attorneys at Musca Law are well positioned to assist you if you're facing a resisting arrest charge. We possess the knowledge and experience, and the will, to help you in your time of trouble.
Call our firm today to discuss your case: (888) 484-5057.