Resisting Arrest in Florida

We’ve all heard about resisting an officer. It’s been depicted on television and in the movies for many years. On TV, we usually see a suspect shouting obscenities at an officer and when the officer finally cracks, the suspect fights the handcuffs and maybe even spits on the officer or kicks him or her. This type of situation would be called “resisting officer with violence to his or her person” in Florida.

Then, there’s the other scenario where the suspect is challenging the officer or being verbally disrespectful. The officer decides to initiate the arrest and the suspect fails to comply. The suspect doesn’t hit, kick, spit, or punch the officer, but much like a subordinate teenager, the suspect refuses to submit to the officer’s demands to make an arrest. In Florida, this is resisting officer without violence.

1. Resisting Officer Without Violence
Resisting an officer without violence is covered under Section 843.02 of the Florida Statutes. Under this section, whoever resists, obstructs, or opposes a police officer, probation officer, parole or probation officer, or representative of the Department of Law Enforcement without using violence commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by:

  • Up to one year in prison, or
  • Up to a $1,000 fine, or
  • A fine and imprisonment.

2. Resisting Officer With Violence
A person commits the offense of resisting an officer with violence under Section 843.01 of the Florida Statutes when he or she knowingly and willfully obstructs or opposes an officer, probation or parole officer, or representative from the Department of Law Enforcement, and they use violence while resisting the officer. An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to five years in prison, or by a fine not to exceed $5,000, or by a fine and imprisonment.

Are you accused of resisting an officer with or without violence? Contact me today for a free case evaluation. I’m here to help!


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