Resisting Arrest is a Crime in Florida
If you are about to be arrested anywhere in Florida, even if you think you are about to be arrested, it is not a smart idea to refuse or resist arrest. Resisting arrest in Florida is a crime and you can be punished for resisting arrest, even if you haven’t done anything wrong.
An arrest does not mean you are guilty of a crime
If you have been arrested, you have the right to be told why you have been arrested. You also have the right to remain silent until you have the opportunity to talk to an attorney. Just because you are arrested and charged with a crime, it doesn’t mean that you are guilty. Prosecutors must have a case against you and they cannot convict you unless they have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime they have accused you of.
The whole experience of an arrest can be very intimidating and frightening, especially if you have never experienced anything like this before. It is quite possible that you have been arrested on false or unsubstantial evidence. If this is the case, an experienced criminal defense attorney like Albert Quirantes Esq. will expose the deficiencies in the case against you and get your charge dismissed.
It may be tempting to make a run for it or in some other way avoid an arrest if you think it is going to happen. Whatever the circumstances, this is not a good idea as you can be charged with ‘resisting arrest’ under Florida statute 843.02. If convicted, you can be sentenced to jail or prison and fined, amongst other penalties, even if the original charge against you is dismissed as the evidence is not enough to convict you.
What is meant by resisting arrest
Resisting arrest in Florida means that you have resisted, obstructed, or opposed one or more f the following law enforcement officers:
• a police officer as defined by statute s.943.10; • a representative of the state Department of Law Enforcement (DLE); • a probation officer; • a parole or probation supervisor; • any other person who is legally authorized to have a law enforcement role.
Like many other crimes in Florida, there are different categories of the crime of ‘resisting arrest.’ Basically, there are two main categories, one more serious than the other. If you resist arrest ‘with violence’, it is a more serious crime than if you resist arrest ‘without violence’.
Penalties for resisting arrest
These penalties can only be imposed if you are convicted of the crime of resisting arrest. It will be the role of your defense attorney to make the case for your defense. There may be many reasons why a charge of resisting arrest cannot be sustained when the full details of what happened during the arrest are revealed.
If convicted of resisting arrest without violence, a first time offender may get anything from a fine or probation as a minimum right through to a maximum of 1 year in a county jail. This is a first degree misdemeanor.
Resisting arrest with violence could lead to a maximum of 5 years in prison, 5 years on probation or a $5,000 fine. It all depends on the level of violence, and any previous record. This crime is a third degree felony.
These penalties are in addition to any penalties imposed if the crime for which you may have been arrested are sustained in court and you are convicted of an additional crime.
To emphasize the point made here, do not in any circumstances resist arrest as it will definitely make your life more difficult. Obey instructions calmly, politely refuse to answer any questions apart from those created to your identity and address. Then use your 5th Amendment right to talk to an attorney. In Miami, call renowned and dedicated criminal defense attorney, Albert Quirantes Esq.
You can contact the Law Firm of Albert Quirantes at 305-644-1800.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.