Resisting an Officer

Our Plantation and Delray Beach criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert know that resisting an officer is a serious crime. The Florida State Statutes deal with the crime in two separate sections: s. 843.01 and s. 843.02, which deal with resisting an officer with violence and resisting an officer without violence respectively.

Before we delve into the particulars of each statute, it’s critical to remember that if you’ve been charged with any crime, especially resisting an officer, it’s critical that you contact a criminal defense lawyer such as one of us at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert. With all of the potential misunderstandings and differences of perspective involved in a case of resisting an officer, especially if there is/are defense witness/es to the incident, it’s necessary for you to retain a strong legal defense team at the outset, so that we can help you all the way through.

Now, onto the state statutes: as we mentioned above, s. 843.01 deals with resisting an officer with violence to his or her person (i.e. to him or her).  Our Plantation and Delray Beach criminal defense lawyers know the law holds that 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 threatening to or actually doing violence to the person (physical body) of such officer or legally authorized person, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to $5,000 in fines and/or 5 years in prison (in addition to required probation, court fees, likely attorneys fees, etc.), as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

To better understand the offense of resisting an officer with violence, consider the following example: a person physically resists or threatens to use force to resist an officer while the law enforcement or corrections officer is in the middle of one of the various procedures of arrest or other legal duties he or she has to perform in their capacity as such an officer.

Now, as our Plantation and Delray Beach criminal defense lawyers know, resisting an officer without violence is considered a less serious offense (though still a serious one). This type of offense is dealt with in s. 843.02, which holds that 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 threatening to do or actually doing violence to the person of the officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and/or 1 year in prison (in addition to required probation, court fees, likely attorneys fees, etc.) as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

To better understand the range of incidents which could result in a charge of resisting an officer without violence, consider the fact that a charge of resisting an officer without violence could result from a situation in which a person interferes without actual or threatened violence. Our Plantation and Delray Beach criminal defense lawyers routinely see this happen in cases in which the police allege that a person’s misconduct interfered with an investigation. A recent example arose when someone refused to get out of her car after being asked repeatedly (15-20 times, as proved via video recording) to get out of her car because the officer said she smelled like alcohol and wanted to conduct a DUI investigation. 

If you’ve been arrested for or charged with one of these or any other criminal offense in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, please contact our Plantation and Delray Beach criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert immediately to schedule a free consultation by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363). We look forward to assisting you.

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