Under Section 843.01, Florida Statutes, it is a criminal act to knowingly and willfully resist, obstruct, or oppose any law enforcement officer by committing a violent act towards the officer or “offering” to commit a violent act.

To prove the crime of Resisting Arrest with Violence in Florida, the prosecution must establish the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant knowingly and willfully resisted, obstructed, or opposed the alleged victim by offering to do violence to him/her or doing violence towards 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 person legally authorized to execute legal process;
  4. At the time, the defendant knew the alleged victim was an officer or person legally authorized to execute legal process.

Penalties for Resisting With Violence

Florida law classifies Resisting an Officer with Violence as a third degree felony, with penalties of up to five years in prison and $5,000.00 fine.

Defenses to Resisting With Violence

There are multiple defenses available to challenge a resisting without violence charge in Jacksonville. Common defenses can include the following:

  • The officer was not engaged in the execution of a legal duty;
  • The defendant’s actions were not willful and knowing, but were the result of the officer applying handcuffs or other restraint to the accused;
  • The defendant did not know that the person he/she resisted was a law enforcement officer;
  • The arresting officer used excessive force and the defendant’s actions were appropriate to repel the excessive force;
  • The defendant’s action were not “violent” within the meaning of the statute;

For a more detailed discussion of the defenses available in a Florida Resisting With Violence case, see our Jacksonville Resisting Arrest Attorney web page, or view our sample Resisting Arrest Motion to Dismiss web page.

Resisting Arrest with Violence is a charge requiring a serious defense effort to avoid a conviction or to minimize potential penalties. If you have been accused of Resisting Arrest or Resisting an Officer With Violence in Jacksonville, Florida, contact an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney to discuss your legal options. We offer free consultations to all prospective clients.