Resisting Arrest Without Violence

Anytime someone is being investigated for a criminal offense the police will go through the normal motions of conducting an investigation to determine if there is probable cause to arrest one for a suspected crime. Whether it is something so simple as a traffic stop leading to an arrest for possession of marijuana or a murder investigation where the police need to execute a search warrant on a home, an illegal resisting of the lawful duty of an officer without violence is considered a crime. Whereas resisting arrest with violence is considered a felony, an obstruction or resisting of an officer during arrest or in the execution of his legal duty is a misdemeanor of the fist degree. Each State and the Federal system has a variation of this offense, all differing in level of punishment. Tampa criminal attorney Jason Mayberry has addressed this kind of charge numerous times in his career as both a State prosecutor and now in his role as your criminal defense attorney. Our firm will diligently evaluate your case to ensure no stone is unturned. We will ensure the result you get is the best result possible under the circumstances.

What is Resisting or Obstructing an Officer?

The explanation is pretty simple really. If an officer is in the legal execution of an arrest or duty one cannot resist that officer without the risk of being charged under Florida Statute 843.02 for obstruction without violence. From a practical standpoint, this crime comes as an add on offense when one is being arrested or investigated for another crime and proceeds to resist the arrest or destroys some type of evidence or potential evidence in an investigation. Specifically the State Attorney’s Office must prove the following:

  1. The Defendant resisted or obstructed or opposed a victim.

  2. At the time, the victim was engaged in the execution of legal process or lawful execution of a legal duty.

  3. At the time, the victim was an officer or a person legally authorized to execute process.

  4. At the time, Defendant knew the victim was an officer or a person legally authorized to execute process.

So how can we defend you? First of all, our Tampa criminal lawyers would as does the Defendant know they are being investigated or that there is an officer in the lawful execution of a legal duty? If they don’t know that, they likely don’t have the requisite criminal intent to commit the crime. Does the Defendant know the person investigating or making the arrest is an officer? One doesn’t have to submit to an arrest performed by a layperson. That’s called false imprisonment or kidnapping. Lastly, and in the event there is a search of a home, if the item destroyed is not part of a warrant or relevant to the investigation, you could make a loose claim that you haven’t obstructed an execution of legal process or a legal duty.

Ultimately, like any other criminal charge a charge alleging some type of resisting lawful process or obstructing law enforcement is a serious allegation. Not only are there direct penalties but the inclusion of this charge will be used to show consciousness of guilt with respect to an accompanying allegation. Don’t attempt to navigate these waters alone. Contact a Tampa criminal lawyer at the Mayberry Law Firm at 813-444-7435 today.