Dedicated Attorney Defends Charges of Resisting Arrest in Florida
Aggressive defense to charges of resistance and obstruction
No one has the right to resist a lawful arrest, but no one has to suffer brutality and abuse inflicted under the color of authority. If you have been charged with resisting arrest, there are defenses available and a skilled criminal defense attorney can help you assert them. At The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A., we understand how a person’s reasonable fear of police can escalate during an encounter, causing the person to react defensively. If you are charged with resisting arrest, we will challenge law enforcement on their tactics and procedures and bring to light all evidence that may have justified your conduct. We work tirelessly to deliver positive results that uphold the dignity of our clients.
What constitutes resisting arrest under Florida law?
You may have solid legal grounds to claim you did not resist arrest. However, attempting to litigate your case alone against the cops is always a bad idea. Citizens are required to obey law enforcement officers who are acting within the scope of their duties. This includes police officers, probation officers, parole supervisor and any personnel acting under color of authority. Police are permitted to use reasonable force when carrying out their duties. It’s important for citizens to understand that failure to obey a police request can result in the exercise of force, and more often than not a court will find that force to be justified.
Any noncompliance with an arresting officer’s instructions can be construed as resisting arrest. Under Florida law, resistance can occur in two ways:
- With violence — This is a third degree felony, which can draw five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
- Without violence — The is a first degree misdemeanor, carrying one year of jail time and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
To prove either of these charges, a prosecutor must present evidence of all of these elements:
- You resisted, obstructed or opposed a law enforcement officer.
- The officer was authorized under the law and was executing a legal duty.
- You knew that you were resisting a law enforcement officer.
These elements are not always straightforward, especially in these days of heightened tension between police and the public.
Viable defenses to resisting arrest in Florida
Depending upon the circumstances, you might have one or more viable defenses to a charge of resisting arrest. These defenses include:
- Self-defense — No one has to subject themselves to police brutality. If you were the target of excessive use of force by police, you have the right to protect yourself against it.
- An officer acted outside the scope of authority — When a police officer acts unlawfully, citizens are not required to obey. Officers who abuse power and/or engage in violence and corruption cannot turn around and arrest citizens who oppose them.
- An officer failed to identify himself — You are not required to obey the instructions of random persons. When officers fail to identify themselves, there is no basis for demanding compliance with orders.
Depending on the facts of your case, you could have an effective defense to charges that you resisted arrest. Mr. Yates will thoroughly investigate the incident and interview all available witnesses to build the strongest case possible in your behalf.
Contact a proven criminal defense lawyer in Orlando, FL for charges of resisting arrest
The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. represents clients accused of resisting arrest in Orlando and vicinity. Call today at 407-608-7777 or contact us online. Our office is conveniently located at 3431 Edgewater Drive.