Navigating Legal Challenges: Your Guide to Resisting Arrest Charges in Florida

A law enforcement officer arresting a person for resisting arrest

Imagine being accused of resisting arrest and facing legal ramifications that could impact your life. Understanding the complexities of resisting arrest charges in Florida and the importance of hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney, such as a resisting arrest lawyer, to represent you is critical in such situations. This blog post will guide you through the legal challenges surrounding resisting arrest charges, provide strategies for defending against these charges, and help you navigate the process of selecting the right lawyer to protect your rights.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the relevant laws and potential repercussions of resisting arrest is essential.
  • Hiring an experienced lawyer specialized in resisting arrest cases can help protect your legal rights, challenge search & seizure methods, question witness credibility and negotiate a fair resolution.
  • A conviction for resisting arrest may lead to fines, probation or incarceration depending on severity.

Understanding Resisting Arrest Charges

Resisting arrest is the deliberate act of impeding police officers in the execution of their duties. It can be legally justifiable when an officer is attempting to arrest you under unlawful circumstances, not fulfilling their legal duty. However, potential repercussions of a resisting arrest conviction may include monetary penalties, incarceration, and even a criminal record, with more severe consequences if it’s a third-degree felony. Misdemeanor resisting arrest, on the other hand, carries less severe penalties.

Law Enforcement Officer’s Perspective

From a law enforcement officer’s viewpoint, ‘resisting arrest’ refers to the intentional act of impeding, delaying, or obstructing a law enforcement officer from making a lawful arrest. Police officers in Florida face various challenges when making an arrest, such as the use of excessive force, public opinion, safety concerns, and adhering to legal procedures. They adhere to a specific protocol, which includes taking the defendant into custody, notifying them of their rights, performing a search if required, and recording the arrest through photographs and fingerprints.

Legal Definitions and Requirements

A photo of a person being apprehended by a police officer while resisting arrest, and the importance of hiring a resisting arrest lawyer

In Florida, resisting arrest is an offense. It is defined as any voluntary attempt to oppose, obstruct, or demonstrate resistance against a law enforcement officer. Individuals can be charged with resisting arrest with violence only if their behavior indicates intention to resist being lawfully arrested. Furthermore, they must be actively engaged in the process of being arrested for this charge to stand. The crime of resisting arrest generally involves activities that obstruct, resist, or delay law enforcement during their official duties.

The arresting officer must have a lawful reason to detain and arrest the person. Otherwise, the case may be dismissed.

Common Scenarios and Examples of Resisting Arrest

A person being arrested by a police officer for resisting arrest

Resisting arrest, also known as resisting law enforcement, can occur in various situations, such as obstructing, resisting, or delaying law enforcement officers in the execution of their duties, obstructing an officer from making a lawful arrest, and using force to resist an unlawful arrest. Non-violent resistance in an arrest can include refusing to comply with the directives of law enforcement officers, while violence resisting arrest can involve physically assaulting or attacking a law enforcement officer, using physical force to resist being handcuffed or restrained, or threatening the officer with a weapon.

Whether direct or indirect, to resist arrest is a criminal offense and can lead to additional charges, including felony resisting arrest charges, so it is best to comply with law enforcement officers and seek legal assistance if you believe your arrest was unlawful.

Defending Against Resisting Arrest Charges

A criminal defense attorney discussing a resisting arrest case with a client

There are various strategies for defending against resisting arrest charges, such as challenging the legality of the arrest, arguing excessive force, and asserting self-defense.

These defense strategies are elaborated on in the subsequent subsections.

Challenging the Legality of the Arrest

Challenging the legality of an arrest involves determining whether the arrest was conducted in accordance with the law, including considerations such as whether there was a valid warrant, probable cause, and compliance with the proper arrest procedures. Successfully challenging the legality of an arrest can have implications for resisting arrest charges, as it may reduce the strength of the prosecution’s case and lead to the dismissal or reduction of charges.

To challenge the legality of an arrest, one must collect evidence, consult with a lawyer, file a motion to suppress evidence, attend a suppression hearing, and present the case in court.

Arguing Excessive Force

In some cases, a defendant may argue that excessive force was used by law enforcement during the arrest, which could justify resistance. Excessive force is defined as the use of more force than necessary to overcome the level of resistance encountered and is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. To demonstrate that excessive force was used during an arrest, it is necessary to:

  • Collect evidence
  • Record any injuries
  • Seek legal counsel
  • Ascertain a pattern
  • Utilize expert testimony

Bear in mind that retaliating against a police officer with force is often unproductive, but proving lawful self-defense may increase the chances of success.

Asserting Self-Defense

Asserting self-defense as a reason for resisting arrest can be a viable defense strategy if the use of force by the police officer was deemed unnecessary or excessive, or if the officer did not adhere to protocol. The legal requirements for asserting self-defense in a resisting arrest case typically include the necessity to protect oneself from harm or injury, the proportionality of the force used to the threat faced, and ceasing the use of force if the officer discontinues the use of excessive force.

The court will evaluate the self-defense argument by taking into account whether the suspect was acting in self-defense after the officer employed excessive force, and if there’s reasonable doubt regarding the necessity of the suspect’s actions.

Potential Consequences of a Resisting Arrest Conviction

A person being sentenced for a resisting arrest conviction

A resisting arrest conviction can carry various consequences, including fines, probation, and incarceration. For instance, in Florida, resisting arrest with violence is punishable by up to 5 years in prison or probation and up to $5,000 in fines. Potential penalties for a misdemeanor charge may include probation and fines, or county jail time, while a felony conviction for resisting arrest charges could result in probation and fines or time in state prison.

Understanding the possible outcomes of a resisting arrest conviction and consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you through your case is necessary.

Selecting the Right Resisting Arrest Lawyer

A criminal defense lawyer discussing a resisting arrest case with a client

Choosing the right resisting arrest lawyer to represent you in your case is a critical decision. Factors to consider when selecting a lawyer include experience, specialization, reputation, cost, communication, and trust and comfort. A competent resisting arrest lawyer can evaluate the legality of the arrest, construct a valid defense, question the testimony of the arresting officer, and safeguard your rights.

Choosing the correct lawyer can enhance your probability of securing a favorable outcome in your case.

The Importance of Hiring a Resisting Arrest Lawyer

Engaging a resisting arrest lawyer is key to guaranteeing a fair trial and safeguarding your rights. An experienced lawyer can navigate the complexities of resisting arrest laws, negotiate a fair resolution with the prosecution, and provide sound legal counsel throughout the process.

The subsequent subsections will detail:

  1. The advantages of hiring a lawyer skilled in resisting arrest laws
  2. Their capacity for negotiating fair resolutions
  3. Their function in defending your rights

Expertise in Resisting Arrest Laws

A lawyer specialized in resisting arrest laws can offer multiple benefits for your case, including extensive legal knowledge, access to expert witnesses and resources, connections within the legal system, and the ability to protect your rights while navigating the complex justice system. They use strategies such as investigating the facts, devising a strong defense strategy, capitalizing on unique circumstances, questioning officer credibility, and providing assertive representation when handling a case.

Their specialized knowledge can increase the chances of having the resisting arrest charge dismissed or reduced.

Negotiating Fair Resolution

A criminal defense lawyer specializing in resisting arrest cases can:

  • Negotiate a fair resolution for your case
  • Potentially reduce or dismiss charges
  • Engage in conversations with the defense attorney and the prosecution to reach a mutually beneficial resolution
  • Evaluate potential defenses
  • Negotiate a plea bargain

Several factors can impact the outcome of negotiation in resisting arrest cases, including the strength of the evidence against the defendant, the dispositions of the parties engaged in the negotiation, and the power dynamics between the parties.

Protecting Your Rights

A resisting arrest lawyer is instrumental in safeguarding your rights and ensuring that your trial is fair. They address the charge of resisting arrest directly and strive to create a robust defense strategy by scrutinizing the evidence, examining the behavior of law enforcement officers, and advocating for your rights in court. The lawyer’s role is to guarantee that you receive a fair trial and that your constitutional rights are upheld.

They take measures to protect your rights, such as:

  • Challenging the search and seizure methods
  • Questioning witness credibility
  • Identifying procedural errors
  • Proving the arrest was unlawful
  • Examining the use of excessive force


In conclusion, understanding the legal challenges surrounding resisting arrest charges in Florida and the importance of hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is vital in ensuring a fair trial and protecting your rights. By learning about the legal definitions and requirements, common scenarios, and potential consequences of resisting arrest, as well as the strategies for defending against these charges, you will be better equipped to navigate the complexities of your case and achieve a favorable outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a resisting arrest charge dropped in Florida?

Your best chance of having a resisting arrest charge dropped in Florida is to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney and argue for a dismissal if the arresting officer fails to appear in court.

Can I resist an unlawful arrest in Florida?

You have the right to resist an unlawful arrest or detainment without using violence, as seen in the E.A.B vs. State case from 2022.

Is resisting arrest a felony or misdemeanor in Florida?

In Florida, resisting arrest is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable with up to 1 year in jail or 12 months probation, and a $1,000 fine.

How do you describe resisting arrest?

Resisting arrest is the criminal act of preventing or hindering an arrest by obstructing, endangering, assaulting, threatening, disobeying, hindering, delaying, or otherwise resisting a law enforcement officer who attempts to take another under arrest. In most cases, the person responsible for resisting arrest is criminally charged or taken to court.

What are the potential consequences of a resisting arrest conviction?

Resisting arrest can result in severe penalties such as fines, probation and even incarceration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Law Firm 500 Fastest Growing Law Firms In the U.S - 2017 Honoree
    Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was an honaree for the Fastest Growing Law Firm In the U.S. award in 2017.
  • National College for DUI Defense
    The NCDD is a professional, non-profit corporation dedicated to the improvement of the criminal defense bar, and to the dissemination of information to the public about drunk driving law and related issues.
  • Broward Association of Criminal Defense lawyers
    BACDL's mission is to assist, support, and strengthen the Broward County criminal defense practitioner in the zealous defense of individuals and their Constitutional rights.
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    Promoting excellence and integrity in the practice of criminal law.
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    NACDL is an American criminal defense organization. Members include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, active U.S. military defense counsel, judges and more.
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
    NORML is an American non-profit organization based in Washington, DC whose aim is to achieve the legalization of non-medical marijuana in the United States.
  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association
    The DDLA was founded on principles of democracy, transparency, and freedom of speech. We provide support, resources and education to the top DUI attorneys nationwide.
  • Better Business Bureau
    The BBB, founded in 1912, is a private, nonprofit organization whose self-described mission is to focus on advancing marketplace trust.
  • Law Firm 500 Fastest Growing Law Firms In the U.S - 2017 Honoree
  • National College for DUI Defense
  • Broward Association of Criminal Defense lawyers
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association
  • Better Business Bureau

    Contact Us Now

    Call (561) 557-8686 or complete the form. Phones answered 24/7. Most form responses within 5 minutes during business hours, and 15-20 minutes during evenings and weekends.

    100% Secure & Confidential