What Are the Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Florida?

Have you been charged with resisting arrest in Florida? If so, you’ll want to know what you’re up against, and the potential penalties involved. For starters, there are two laws on the books pertaining to resisting arrest: 1) resisting officer without violence to his or her person, and 2) resisting officer with violence to his or her person, both of which are fairly self-explanatory. Understandably, the latter is more serious because it involves violence.

Resisting Officer Without Violence

Resisting an officer without violence is covered under Section 843.02 of the Florida Statutes. Under Sec. 843.02, you commit this offense if you resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer, county probation officer, parole or probation supervisor, anyone employed by the Department of Law Enforcement, or anyone else legally authorized to execute the law.

As you can imagine, it’s very easy to break this law. If you say or do anything that the officer considers to be resisting, opposing, or obstruction while they carry out their legal duties, you can be slapped with this charge, which is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to one year in jail and by a maximum fine of $1,000.

Resisting Officer With Violence

The offense of resisting an officer with violence is covered under Section 843.01 of the Florida Statutes. Under this section, the elements are the same as the above, only the offender takes it a step further by, “...offering or doing violence to the person of such officer or legally authorized person.” A violation of Sec. 843.01 is a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to five years in prison and by a maximum fine of $5,000.

Resisting an officer with violence is a serious offense and one that people commit easily without thinking about it. If a suspect for example, pushes an officer, tries to hit the officer, or does anything else violent in nature, they can find themselves facing felony charges and a lengthy prison sentence.

Next: Do I Have to Give a Sample of My DNA in Florida?

Are you facing criminal charges for resisting an officer with or without violence? If so, I urge you to contact my Miami criminal defense firm for a free case evaluation.