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Resisting an Officer with Violence

Pursuant to Florida Statute 843.01, Fla. Stat. “Whoever knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes any officer…in the lawful execution of any legal duty, by offering or doing violence to the person of such officer or legally authorized person, is guilty of a felony of the third degree…”

Elements

To prove the crime of Resisting Officer with Violence, the State must prove the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused knowingly and willfully resisted, obstructed or opposed the alleged victim by offering to do him/her violence or doing violence to him/her.
  2. At the time, the alleged victim was engaged in the execution of legal process or lawful execution of a legal duty.
  3. At the time, the alleged victim was an officer or a person legally authorized to execute process.
  4. At the time, the accused knew the alleged victim was an officer or a person legally authorized to execute process.

Penalties

Resisting Arrest with Violence is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in Florida State Prison and a $5,000.00 fine.

The law does not allow a person from using any physical violence against an officer who engaged is in the lawful execution of his or her duties. The case law holds that even if an officer is making an illegal arrest, a person who uses force against the officer is guilty of this crime. Although the law looks to be straight forward, there are many nuisances that can be used in defending this type of charge. For a free consultation, call David J. Sobel directly at 954-383-3000.