Police responded to a bar fight the Defendant was involved in. The Defendant fled the scene and hid in a nearby construction site. Police located the Defendant and charged him with Felony Trespass and Resisting Arrest/Obstruction.
Felony Trespass in Florida
Trespassing in Florida is a felony if the offender was carrying a weapon or firearm or if the person was trespassing on a construction site. Trespassing can be defined as the willful entry into a property without having implied consent or permission from the owner. In Florida, in order to be charged for the crime of trespassing, the offender does not need to have a general intent to trespass. They merely need to have willingly entered the property without any permission from the owner.
Penalties of trespassing, when charged as a felony, include up to 5 years prison time, 5 years probation, and a fine of $5,000.
Resisting Arrest/Obstruction in Florida
Resisting arrest in Florida is a first-degree misdemeanor. Penalties for resisting arrest include up to one year in jail, 12 months probation, and fine of $1,000.
Defenses for resisting arrest include:
- Disputed resistance – A jury will look at the video if available to see if the police officer’s allegations contradict what really happened.
- Involuntary reactions – To be considered resisting arrest, the offender will have to knowingly or willingly impede an officer’s job or have a general intent to resist arrest. If an offender states that his or her arms are in pain when being handcuffed, this can not be used against them as resisting arrest.
- Absence of lawful duty – The officer who is arresting must act in a lawful manner at all times. No one can be expected to obey commands by a person who is not following the law themselves.
- Illegal arrest or detention – If an officer unlawfully assists an individual, the person has the right to resist arrest. This often happens when there is no probable cause.
- Excessive force – If an officer acts in a manner that displays excessive force, it can be justified that it was inappropriate on their part.
- Failure to explain an arrest – If the arresting officer did not tell the offender why they were under arrest, they may not know. Resisting a situation without knowing what is happening or why it is happening is a common defense that can be used.
Obtaining Legal Representation
If you have been charged with trespassing or resisting arrest/obstruction, you need a skilled lawyer who will fight in your corner. At Musca Law, we can help protect your rights, ensuring that your case has defenses that can help either lower the charge or completely dismiss it. Our law firm has successfully defended many clients, and we look forward to doing the same in the future. We offer free consultations and answer phone calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
RESULT: The Attorney aggressively argued on behalf of our Client and challenged the evidence against him. The State DISMISSED the charges against our Client!