What does it mean to resist arrest?
To resist an arrest means that you are committing some type of act that is preventing the officer from arresting you. This can either be done through violence ways like hitting the officer or nonviolent was like not letting them handcuff you. If you are confronted by an officer, it is best to comply and listen to any directions they may give you. Resisting can be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on what occurred during the arrest.
Resisting arrest with violence
Florida statute 843.01
Whoever knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes any officer as defined in s. 943.10(1) , (2) , (3) , (6) , (7) , (8) , or (9) ; member of the Florida Commission on Offender Review or any administrative aide or supervisor employed by the commission; parole and probation supervisor; county probation officer; personnel or representative of the Department of Law Enforcement; or other person legally authorized to execute process in the execution of legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty, by offering or doing violence to the person of such officer or legally authorized person, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 , s. 775.083 , or s. 775.084 .
If the individual resists an officer’s arrest by retaliating with violence, then it is a third-degree felony. The defendant has to be knowingly and willfully resisting, obstructing, or threatening the officer with violence. The defendant would have to either commit a battery or an assault offense on the arresting officer. The defendant would also have to have knowledge that the victim was an officer at the time of the attack. If the defendant also is threatening or uses a weapon to cause harm to the officer, then it would also be resisting.
Resisting arrest without violence
Florida statute 843.01
Whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer as defined in s. 943.10(1) , (2) , (3) , (6) , (7) , (8) , or (9) ; member of the Florida Commission on Offender Review or any administrative aide or supervisor employed by the commission; county probation officer; parole and probation supervisor; personnel or representative of the Department of Law Enforcement; or other person legally authorized to execute process in the execution of legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty, without offering or doing violence to the person of the officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083
A resist doesn’t always have to mean kicking and hitting the officer. You can resist and arrest by providing false information to the officer when asked. Running away or hiding from the officer while they are trying to arrest you is also considered resisting. The defendant could refuse to sit down when asked to by the officer or tense up their arms so they can’t get handcuffed. If the defendant goes limp and requires the officer to drag them then that can also be resisting.
Other forms of resistance may include refusing to leave the area, being a lookout, interfering with a police investigation, or concealing evidence.
The penalties may vary depending on what happened during the resisting of arrest. If the defendant resisted through violence, then it will be a third-degree felony. The maximum penalty would be a five-year prison sentence, five-year probation, or a fine of $5,000. Resisting without violence is a misdemeanor offense. The maximum jail sentence would be up to one year. You may also be asked to perform community service hours as a part of your probation.
If you have been charged for resisting arrest, call us at Smith & Eulo. We are open 24/7 and our criminal defense lawyers have over 20 years of combined experience successfully handling these types of cases.
In addition to our two Orlando, FL locations we also have locations in: Kissimmee, Sanford, Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Ocala, Lakeland, Tampa, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Miami, Jacksonville. Give us a call today for your Free Consultation, we have payment plans available.
*Additional Orlando Florida & Orange County Legal Resources