Resisting Arrest without Violence in New Port Richey

High-Quality Representation from a Musca Law Criminal Defense Attorney

If you resist arrest without violence, it is still considered a criminal offense. Anyone who obstructs or opposes a police officer while he is on duty will face penalties. In order to be charged with this crime, one must knowingly and willingly resist a law enforcement officer.

If you have been charged with the criminal act of resisting arrest without violence, our New Port Richey attorneys from Musca Law Firm want to hear from you. We know our way around in the courtroom and can help you even in the toughest cases. 

It is imperative that you contact us right away. In certain cases, if we are able to intervene early enough, we may be able to negotiate with the prosecution to persuade no formal charges to be filed against you. 

Defining Resisting Arrest Without Violence

Resisting arrest without violence occurs when there is any non-violent interference that is directed toward a law enforcement officer. 

Florida Statutes, Section 843.02 states:

“Whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any [law enforcement or probation] officer or other person legally authorized to execute process in the lawful execution of a legal duty, without offering or doing violence to the person of the officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree…”

Defining Law Enforcement Officers

A law enforcement officer can include many different jobs. These include police officers, probation officers, deputy sheriff, a correctional officer, or any person who is legally authorized to execute process (warrants, subpoenas, etc.).

Examples of Resisting Arrest Without Violence

Some common examples of resisting arrest without violence include the following:

  • Not obeying verbal commands given by a law enforcement officer.
  • Tensing the arms while the law enforcement officer attempts to handcuff the offender. 
  • Concealing evidence.
  • Anyone that supplies false information. This includes giving the wrong name or providing information that is misleading. 
  • Threatening an officer. 
  • Refusing to leave an area when asked to do so by a law enforcement officer. 
  • Refusing to sit down when a law enforcement officer asks you to do so.
  • Evading law enforcement officers when there is a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing.
  • Walking away when a law enforcement officer asks you to stop. 
  • Interfering with any law enforcement investigation. 
  • Arguing with a police officer during the course of an arrest. 
  • Being a lookout person for someone trying to prevent arrest. 
  • Allowing your body to go limp so the law enforcement officer has to drag or pull one in order to be arrested. 
  • The suspect refused to enter the police car.
  • The suspect will not answer any questions
  • Obstructing an officer while they are trying to arrest another person. 

Required Proof of Resisting Arrest Without Violence

In order for a charge to stick in a court hearing, the prosecution is required to prove the following:

Penalties for Resisting Arrest Without Violence

Resisting arrest without violence is a misdemeanor in the first degree. Offenders could receive up to one year in jail, one year of probation, and a $1,000 fine. 

Resisting arrest without violence is often labeled as a secondary charge. This means the person will still be charged with whatever their original crime was. An example of this may be a person who was pulled over for a traffic violation, and the law enforcement officer believed the person was under the influence of alcohol. After the person performed the field sobriety tests and breath test, they were arrested for this. However, when the police officer tried to put handcuffs on them, they tensed their arms up to not allow it. 

Defenses for Resisting Arrest Without Violence

There are a few different defenses that can be used for resisting arrest without violence. These include the following:

Lawful and Unlawful Arrests 

As stated above, a defense that is commonly used for resisting arrest without violence is an unlawful arrest. On the flip side of this, there is a lawful arrest. 

A lawful arrest can be defined as any arrest that is made due to probable cause. It must be supported by this. A law enforcement officer must have facts and circumstances they trust. They must hold sufficient evidence that an offense has been committed. 

Lawful Investigations

Any investigating officer must have a suspicion that is reasonable that a person has committed, is in the process of committing, or is about to commit a crime before they are allowed to arrest the person. After arresting them, they can perform a lawful investigation. 

Pre-Trial Intervention (Diversion) Program

Sometimes those that have been charged with resisting arrest without violence will qualify for a pre-trial intervention program. If you are accepted into this program you will not have to attend court. Once you have completed the course, the charges against you will be dropped. 

These programs are designed for offenders who were accused of committing a third-degree felony or misdemeanor, This gives the individual a chance to not have any risks that are associated with a trial.

While not every person is eligible for the pre-trial intervention program, most individuals that have none or very little criminal history will generally be approved.

While you do have to apply for a diversion program, an attorney can assist you in doing so. Once the application has been filled out, the State Attorney’s office will review it to see if you are a good fit for the program. A background check will also be done in order to make sure your application is correct. Should you be accepted into the diversion program, the judge that is handling your case will receive a written order that suspends the case. All court proceedings will then be canceled. No further court hearings will need to be attended. 

You will then have to sign a contract between you, the judge, your attorney, and the prosecution. This contract states that you, the offender, promise to all terms and conditions that are appropriate to the offenses that have been charged against you. You agree that you will not get arrested during the diversion program or be charged with any new charges. The charges will then be dropped once you have successfully completed the program. 

Benefits of a Pre-Trial Intervention Program

There are many benefits to a diversion program. The greatest one is having the charges suspended after you have completed the program. This can be huge for your future. Many employers have a tendency to not hire someone that has a criminal history behind them. Buy using a diversion program, these charges will not be on your record. After you have completed the program you can ask your attorney to assist you in having your record expunged. 

If you have a criminal record, it can be seen by many individuals. Your employers will have access to this, as will your family member, co-workers, landlords, neighbors, credit agencies, colleges and schools, banks, hospitals, and more. Employers can easily find this information out if they run a background check. 

This is where having your record expunged could come in handy. Expunging your record will restore the status you had prior to resisting arrest without violence. The law will act like the incident never occurred. 

Expunging Your Record 

Expunging your record is a legal process that means the process of sealing the arrest and conviction records. The offense that was committed must be eligible for expungement in order to start the process. 

When you expunge your record, you will first need to be eligible for it. There are specific requirements that must be met. You can ask your attorney to assist you in this matter or you can go to your State Courthouse to find out. 

You will then need to file a petition to have your record expunged. In Florida, you are also required to send in a set of fingerprints and a copy of the disposition of the case. You will also need to send in the eligibility certificate.

In most cases, it is easiest to work with an attorney to have your record expunged. An experienced lawyer will know the requirements that are needed in order to make this happen.  

Offenses that are not eligible for expungement include but are not limited to the following: Arson, Aircraft piracy, illegal use of fireworks, Kidnapping, Homicide, Manslaughter, Sexual activity with a child, Sexual Battery, Robbery, Carjacking, human trafficking, and child abuse. 

Reasons for denial of expungement include:

Violations of a Pre-Trial Intervention Program for Resisting Arrest Without Violence

Should you violate the contract that you signed prior to the diversion program, the legal process will be started back at where you left off. Your attorney can see if the prosecution will negotiate with them or you can go to court for the case. There will not be any penalties from the court if you do not complete the entire pre-trial intervention program. If the circumstances of you violating your pre-trial contract were out of your control, your attorney can attempt to see if you can be reinstated into the program once again. 


Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Today!

If you feel you have been wrongly charged with resisting arrest without violence, you will need the advice of a high-quality attorney to assist you in court. Sadly, many law enforcement officers like to throw their weight around. They may feel that just because you are asking questions about things happening, you are getting ready to resist. 

No matter what the circumstances of the case are for you, we want to hear from you. We have handled many resisting without arrest cases. Our law firm has well over 150 years of combined experience. We will work on a defense that works well for your case and negotiate with the prosecution in order to get you the results that you deserve. Call us today at (727) 480-9675 to schedule a free initial case consultation with one of the experienced attorneys in our New Port Richey office. We have offices located in New Port Richey as well as many other Florida cities. We look forward to hearing from you! 

  • The officer was legally authorized to execute process.
  • The defendant did oppose, resist, or obstruct the law enforcement officer. 
  • The law enforcement officer was engaged at the time in the execution of legal process or the lawful execution of a legal duty. 
  • The defendant knew at that time that the person who was being opposed, resisted, or obstructed was indeed a law enforcement officer. 
    • Unlawful arrest- It is completely legal to passively resist unlawful detention, arrest, or investigation. During court, the prosecution will have the burden of showing that the arrest was lawful. 
    • Officer’s Status Unknown- No person is allowed to use force to resist the arrest from any law enforcement officer. The person who is arrested must know that the person arresting them is indeed an actual officer and not just someone who is impersonating one. 
    • Protected Speech- This defense is a rare one to use, as a person’s words alone will be hard to show there was resist for arrest without violence. Most of the time, words will need to be used with physical conduct in order to support there was a resist in arrest without violence. 
    • Excessive force- Any police officer who uses excessive force or engages in police brutality can find themselves in many cases being resisted against. It is natural for a person to use a reasonable amount of force to defend themselves. The force that is used can only be necessary. The circumstances of the arrest will justify if the force the offender used was necessary. One is allowed to defend themselves against a police officer if the force was imminent. 
    • The individual has been adjudicated guilty, as an adult, of a criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation.
    • The individual has been adjudicated guilty of or adjudicated delinquent for committing one or more of the acts stemming from the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the application pertains.
    • The individual received a prior sealing or expungement of a criminal history record under Section 943.0585, Section 943.059, former Section 893.14, former Section 901.33 or former Section 943.058, F.S.
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