Resisting Arrest without Violence in Naples, Florida
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Resisting an arrest without violence is a crime that falls under the category of obstruction of justice, by state and federal laws, and, in Florida, legal officials may label this crime as a misdemeanor. Regardless of category, each offense includes a voluntary resistance, obstruction, or opposition against any peace officer who is carrying out his/her duty and responsibilities. In all cases, the offender would not have attempted to inflict bodily harm on the officer, and (for this reason alone) legal officials may struggle to determine what occurred to trigger this resistance in the first place. If you are facing charges for resisting an officer of the law, you must consult a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible, as you will potentially be punished for obstruction of justice and the crime you were arrested for.
For more information, call (239) 793-5297 to speak to a representative at our office in Naples, Florida.
Resisting Arrest Is a Form of “Obstruction of Justice”
As defined in full in the Florida Statutes, resisting a routine arrest conducted and carried out by an officer of the peace in a non-violent (or violent) manner is considered “obstruction of justice.”
18 U.S. Code Section 1503 defines obstruction of justice as any variety of crime involving the intentional, willing, and voluntary attempt (written and/or spoken) to inhibit, impede, or completely stop the regular administration of the justice system and proceedings.
Likewise, U.S. Code Section 1505 dictates that defendants can potentially be charged with an obstruction of justice crime if they inhibit the regular procedures of court hearings.
Resisting the Routine Arrest Carried out by an Officer
As the name indicates, resisting arrest is a crime that occurs when a person physically struggles against and/or makes an attempt to escape from an officer of the law in an effort to prevent detention. U.S. Law dictates people who (by any means whatsoever) inflict physical injuries or verbally abuse policemen and women in their efforts to elude arrest are committing a serious crime. In these cases, officers may send word of this offense to members of the Florida State Court (or any superior court), depending on the severity of this particular crime.
Any person who makes an attempt to avoid an impending arrest in one or more of the following ways will face charges for obstruction of justice:
- Physically fighting the officer to avoid restraint
- Escaping from police officers in an attempt to avoid arrest and detention
- Verbally threatening to inflict violence on police officers during the escape
In multiple cases, an attempt to interfere in a police officer’s routine duties (or the duties of other law enforcement officials) may also be recognized as “resisting arrest.”
Charges for Resisting a Routine Arrest Conducted by a Florida Police Officer
Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 843.02 dictates that any person who non-violently makes a voluntary attempt to resist, impede, or clash with (in a variety of ways) any man or woman who is an active member of law enforcement and who is fully authorized to arrest this individual will face charges of a 1st-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a 1-year prison sentence and/or a fine of $1,000.
Likewise, Chapter 843.02 defines the following people as “law enforcement officers,” who are fully protected by Florida State Law:
- Members of the Florida Commission on Offender Review
- Administrative aides and supervisors working for the Commission
- County probation officers
- Parole and probation supervisors
- Representatives or personnel of the Department of Law Enforcement
- Any individuals who have been granted legal permission to carry out an arrest
Threatening Violence against an Arresting Officer
Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 776.051 (1-2) offers more details concerning the use of violent verbal threats towards an arresting officer:
- Any person who threatens violence towards a police officer (or someone who works in the legal system of the State of Florida) while his/her arrest is taking place will be charged with a crime.
- Nevertheless, you must consider that law enforcement officers and any people who are aiding them during this arrest are not allowed to use violent force if this arrest has not been approved by higher legal officials.
What Other Crimes Constitute “Resisting Arrest”?
Consider the fact that the crime of non-violent resistance during an arrest may also be considered a direct obstruction of a police officer’s duties. As a result, additional offenses may be labeled as this particular crime. Here are some examples:
- Going limp: when a police officer is forced to carry a culprit during the arrest.
- Third-party obstruction: when a person (by physical means) tries to keep an officer from conducting an arrest or an investigation (as routine).
- False information: supplying fake information (including names, address, etc.) to a police officer in an attempt to prevent one’s arrest.
The Categories of Law Enforcement Officials
So you can understand each of the roles and duties of law enforcement officials outlined in the Florida Statute governing “nonviolently resisting arrest,” here are some details about the categories of law enforcement officials, as outlined in Florida Statute Title XLVII Chapter 943.10:
- Correctional officers: people who are charged with the management, defense, and investigation of men or women (inmates) interred at correctional institutes or state/county prisons (does not include secretaries or clerks).
- Correction probation officers: officers supervising convicts who are granted parole and probation and who have been ordered to participate in community control programs.
- Law enforcement officers: officers who are appointed and/or employed by full-time through municipal or state organizations and who are permitted to bear arms as part of defensive measures, routine arrests, and the coordination of defense (trained to prevent/detect a long lineup of crimes and permitted to supervise officer training).
- Part-time correctional officers: people who have the same duties as correctional officers.
- Part-time law enforcement officers: people with the same duties as law enforcement officers.
Reaching a Verdict for a Case for Resisting Arrest (Nonviolent)
Florida Statute Chapter XLVI Chapter 843.02 and Criminal Jury Case 21.2 lay out a list of instructions for members of a Criminal Jury as part of the formulation of a case for resisting arrest. By these guidelines, members of the court should prove (without any shred of doubt) that:
- The defendant voluntarily and willingly made an attempt to resist and oppose arrest.
- At the time the crime took place, the police officer (the victim in this case) had been conducting a routine arrest as part of his/her legal duties.
- At the time the crime took place, the victim was serving as a member of law enforcement.
- At the time the crime took place, the defendant knew the victim was a member of law enforcement.
Case 21.2 also dictates that, once members of a court have assessed the aforementioned details, they must decide if the police officer in question had served in law enforcement or corrections. By means of further observation and determination of facts, the court members must indicate that the victim is an officer of the law (under specific categories).
Reaching a Final Verdict for a Case of Offering False Reports of a Commissioned Crime
Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 817.49 and Criminal Jury Case 21.4 outline a list of instructions for the formulation of a case that offers false reports of a commissioned crime. By these guidelines, court members must prove (without any shred of doubt) that:
- The defendant had willingly and intentionally offered fake pieces of information or a full report.
- The defendant had been fully aware that this report and (hereby) the crime was fake.
- At the time the crime was committed, the victim was serving as a police officer.
- At the time the crime was committed, the defendant had fully been aware the victim was a police officer.
Reaching a Verdict for a Case for Providing False Information to a Police Officer (to Elude Arrest)
Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 901.36(2) and Criminal Jury Case 21.7 outline a list of instructions for a case of providing false information to police officers (to elude arrest). In this event, the court members must prove (without any shred of doubt) that:
- A law enforcement official had successfully detained the defendant.
- The defendant had presented a false name and ID to the arresting officer.
- At the time of the crime, the officer was serving as a police officer.
- The victim was negatively affected by the presentation of fake information, offered by the defendant.
Under this same jurisdiction, Case 21.7 also dictates that, if the police officer had every reason to believe the defendant had been attempting to violate Florida Law and/or had committed a previous crime, this police officer may (under this same law) carry out this arrest.
Florida Statute 903.36 (1-2) dictates that members of the Florida State Court must confirm (without any shred of doubt) that the defendant had negatively affected the police officer by handing out a fake name and ID when the arrest was taking place.
Reaching a Verdict for a Case of Attempting to Mislead Police Officers
Florida Statute Title XLVI Chapter 837.055 (1) and Criminal Jury Case 21.15 outline a list of instructions for a case of attempting to mislead police officers (to elude arrest). In keeping with this information, members of the court must prove (without any shred of doubt) that:
- The police officer was conducting a search for a missing person or conducting an investigation of a felony.
- The person conducting the search was a police officer (at the time the crime occurred).
- The defendant was fully aware that the victim had been serving as a police officer.
- The defendant voluntarily and intentionally produced fake information and gave it to the police officer.
- The defendant used the fake information in a willing attempt to mislead the arresting officer and/or obstruct the investigation that was taking place.
If the court members are disputing over the context of the case and whether or not the investigation had been focusing on a felony (not a misdemeanor), the court will provide special instructions about felony investigations to the Florida Jury.
Reaching a Verdict for a Case of Harassing a Witness to the Crime
Florida Statute Title XLVI 914.22(1) and Criminal Jury Case 21.10 outline a list of instructions for cases of harassing a witness to a crime. In keeping with this information, members of the court must prove (without any shred of doubt) that the defendant:
- Intentionally and voluntarily made an attempt to harass a witness to a crime.
- Made an attempt to threaten or directly threatened the witness.
- Participate in misleading conduct direct toward the victim of the crime.
- Bribed the victim by offering benefits in exchange for the victim not reporting the crime.
Likewise, the court must also prove (without any shred of doubt) that the defendant tried to use force or made an effort to harass the victim to:
- Keep the victim from supplying a testimony in an attempt to withhold evidence (records or documents) that could support a criminal investigation.
- Alter, modify, or destroy an object that could help police during an investigation.
- Prevent the victim from participating in the legal process that instructs the victim to be present as a potential witness to the crime.
Consider the fact that members of the court do not have to specify if this crime occurred before or after a hearing on the grounds of the initial crime (in the defendant’s attempt to avoid arrest or harass a victim).
Accused of Resisting Arrest? Get in Touch with a Musca Law Attorney!
Asking a question about a potential arrest to a police officer might seem innocent enough, but, in the blink of an eye, even the simplest course of action can result in charges of resisting arrest without violence. In this event, the defendant may feel like the officer was over-zealous in showing “control” by making a quick arrest. Only with the help of a skilled defense attorney can you determine if you are definitely in serious trouble or if this was simply a wrongful arrest that can be effectively defended against with the right legal counsel. Don’t hesitate to contact our Naples office today at (239) 793-5297 to schedule a free initial case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.