What to Do When You’ve Been Charged with Resisting an Officer in Florida

What to do if you are charged with “resisting” an officer. 

Being charged with resisting an officer in Florida is a serious matter that can have significant legal consequences. Understanding your rights and knowing the appropriate steps to take can help you navigate this challenging situation. In this guide, we will guide you through the essential actions you should take if you find yourself facing charges of resisting an officer in Florida.

Understanding the Charges

In Florida, the offense of resisting an officer can be classified into two categories: resisting without violence and resisting with violence. Both charges carry serious penalties, but resisting with violence is considered a more severe offense.

  • Resisting Without Violence: This charge occurs when a person resists, obstructs, or opposes an officer without the use of violence. Examples include fleeing from an officer or refusing to comply with commands.
  • Resisting With Violence: This charge involves using or threatening physical force against an officer. It is a more serious offense and carries harsher penalties.

Immediate Steps to Take

1. Stay Calm and Comply

If you are confronted by law enforcement, it is crucial to stay calm and comply with their commands. Resisting or arguing with the officer can escalate the situation and lead to additional charges. Remember, you have the right to remain silent and to request an attorney.

2. Do Not Make Any Statements

After being charged with resisting an officer, it is important not to make any statements or discuss the incident with law enforcement or anyone else. Anything you say can be used against you in court. Exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation.

3. Contact a Lawyer Immediately

One of the most critical steps you can take is to contact a lawyer who is experienced in handling resisting officer charges in Florida. A skilled lawyer will provide guidance, protect your rights, and help build a strong defense on your behalf.

Your Rights When Charged with Resisting an Officer in Florida

Knowing your rights can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Here are some key rights to remember:

  • Right to Remain Silent: You have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions without an attorney present.
  • Right to an Attorney: You have the right to consult with a lawyer before making any statements or decisions.
  • Right to a Fair Trial: You are entitled to a fair trial and to defend yourself against the charges in court.

Building a Defense

Defending against resisting an officer requires a thorough understanding of the law and the specific circumstances of your case. Your lawyer will explore several potential defenses, including:

Lack of Intent

For a charge of resisting an officer to hold, the prosecution must prove that you intentionally resisted, obstructed, or opposed the officer. If your actions were unintentional or misunderstood, this could form the basis of a defense.

Unlawful Arrest

If the officer was not acting within the scope of their lawful duties or did not have probable cause to arrest you, your lawyer might argue that the arrest was unlawful. This can be a strong defense in resisting an officer case.

Self-Defense

In some situations, you may have acted in self-defense if the officer used excessive force. Your lawyer will review the details of the encounter to determine if this defense is applicable.

Mistaken Identity

If you were mistakenly identified as the person who resisted the officer, your lawyer will gather evidence to prove that you were not involved in the incident.

Potential Consequences

The consequences of a conviction for resisting an officer in Florida can be severe and long-lasting. Penalties may include:

  • Fines: Significant monetary fines.
  • Jail Time: Possible imprisonment, especially for resisting violence.
  • Criminal Record: A conviction will result in a permanent criminal record, which can impact future employment and other opportunities.

Contact The Joel Berman Law Firm to Work With Our Law Attorney

Being charged with resisting an officer in Florida is a serious legal matter that requires prompt and knowledgeable action. By staying calm, exercising your rights, and contacting an experienced lawyer, you can navigate the legal process more effectively.

At Joel Berman Law Firm, we have extensive experience defending clients against resisting officer charges. Our team is committed to protecting your rights and providing the best possible defense. Contact us today for a consultation and let us help you through this challenging time.

For more information and expert legal guidance, visit the Joel Berman Law Firm.