16th Dec 2015

A criminal defense attorney in Miami Dade can explain that the offense of resisting arrest without violence is a first degree misdemeanor charge that is sometimes tacked onto other charges when a person is arrested.  The offense largely depends on the law enforcement officer’s version of events for conviction.  In order to defend against this charge, a criminal defense attorney in Miami Dade must demonstrate that the prosecution has failed to meet its burden that the defendant interfered, resisted, obstructed or opposed a law enforcement officer who was acting pursuant to a legitimate law enforcement function.

Even actions that appear to be minor or insignificant in nature can give rise to this offense.  For example, the Florida Statute constitutes resistance as:

  • Refusing to obey verbal commands
  • Refusing to stand up or place your hands behind your back
  • Presenting invalid identification
  • Tensing your arms while you are being handcuffed

Additionally, a defendant’s actions may rise to this level even if he or she is using mere words to resist.  Tipping off a friend that law enforcement is coming can also result in criminal liability if the conduct prevents law enforcement from apprehending the suspect.

There are certain defenses to this charge, however.  A criminal defense attorney can explain that the prosecution must show that the defendant resisted, obstructed or interfered with a law enforcement officer who was engaged in a legal function that he or she was authorized to conduct and the defendant knew that the person was a law enforcement officer.  If the prosecution lacks even one of these elements, the defendant should be found not guilty.  For example, the defendant may admit that he resisted the person who confronted him, but the officer may not have identified himself as a law enforcement officer.  Another defense may be if a defendant was accosted by a person who was not performing a legal function even though she was a police officer.

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