11th Jul 2017
A criminal defense attorney in Miami Dade often begins an initial consultation with a prospective client by reviewing the charges that the he or she is facing. Resisting arrest without violence is defined as a person resisting, obstructing or opposing a law enforcement officer from executing a legal duty. A criminal defense attorney in Miami Dade can then discuss possible defenses, such as:
Lack of Resistance
A criminal defense attorney may argue that his or her client did not amount to actual resistance. The jury must decide whether or not the defendant’s actions rose to the level required by the criminal statute. This defense may be strengthened by independent evidence, such as video or witness testimony that refutes the assertions by the law enforcement officer.
In some situations, the defendant may have an involuntary reaction to the law enforcement officer’s actions, such as tensing up or pulling away. If these reflexive actions do not rise to the level of resistance, this defense may be asserted.
Florida provides an exception to the charge of resisting arrest without violence. If the law enforcement officer was applying excessive force, this force may be defensed against. He or she may be able to receive a special jury instruction that explains excessive force and self defense.
Not in the Line of Duty
For a person to be convicted of resisting arrest without violence, he or she must have resisted a lawful duty. However, if the law enforcement officer was not performing a lawful duty, the defendant should not be convicted.
Similar to not conducting a lawful duty, if the defendant did not know that the officer was an officer, he or she should not be convicted. This defense may apply when an officer is off duty, working undercover or otherwise not easily identified as a law enforcement officer.