In Florida, resisting arrest involves non-violent actions to interfere with a police officer’s ability to perform a lawful function. According to section 843.02 of the Florida Statutes, “Whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer…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.”

What Types of Conduct Qualify as Resisting Arrest?

Common types of conduct which may constitute resisting include: fleeing from law enforcement, refusal to obey orders, providing false or misleading information, concealing evidence, physically preventing the application of handcuffs, going limp to make an arrest more difficult and any other activity which delays an officer or makes their arrest or investigation more difficult.

What Is the Punishment for Resisting Arrest?

Resisting arrest without violence is a first degree misdemeanor. A first degree misdemeanor carries potential penalties of up to 1 year in jail, a $1000 fine, and 1 year of probation. Resisting arrest with violence is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. A conviction for resisting would show up on your criminal record.

Are There Any Defenses to Resisting Arrest?

There are some defenses which may be raised to challenge the validity of a resisting arrest charge.

– If the police were not carrying out a lawful function when the resisting occurred or the arrest was illegal, the case could be dismissed.

– The alleged resistance must constitute actual resistance, not just perceived resistance.

– If the conduct alleged to be resisting is constitutionally protected speech, then you cannot be convicted.

– If the alleged resistance was an involuntary reaction to the arrest, then the case could be dismissed.

There are other potential defenses, which an attorney can explain.

Contact the Khonsari Law Group for Criminal Defense Attorneys

Anyone charged with resisting arrest should contact an attorney. The attorneys at Khonsari Law Group can review your case and explain potential defenses and penalties. Contact the Khonsari Law Group immediately if you have been charged with resisting arrest in Florida.