Resisting Officer with or without Violence
Resisting Officer with or without violence is one of the most misunderstood offenses in Florida. Movies and TV have warped our perception of the interaction between the Citizen and Law enforcement. Many people immediately think of resisting arrest. This thought process has gotten more than a few people into trouble with the Red and Blue.
You can be exposed to criminal liability at the outset of an interaction with he Police. Florida Statute 843.02 reads: Whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer … member of the Florida Commission on Offender Review or any administrative aide or supervisor employed by the commission; county probation officer; parole and probation supervisor; personnel or representative of the Department of Law Enforcement; or other person legally authorized to execute process in the execution of legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty, without offering or doing violence to the person of the officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
The situation can very quickly go from bad to worse! Florida Statute 843.01 state: Whoever knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes any officer …; member of the Florida Commission on Offender Review or any administrative aide or supervisor employed by the commission; parole and probation supervisor; county probation officer; personnel or representative of the Department of Law Enforcement; or other person legally authorized to execute process in the execution of legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty, by offering or doing violence to the person of such officer or legally authorized person, is guilty of a felony of the third degree.
You could be charged with a felony for something as simple swinging your arm or kicking your leg near the officer. If that swing or kick makes contact with the Officer you may ultimately be charged with Battery of a Law enforcement officer under Florida Statute 784.07, a Third Degree Felony.
Some basic advice
An Officer has pulled me over and asked me to step out the vehicle, What should I do?
Officers do have broad authority to order motorists out of the vehicle. If you have been stopped and the Officer asks you to step out of the vehicle, the best course of action is to do as the Officer requests. Florida Courts have given Officers authority to ask a motorist out of the vehicle for officer safety. Traffic stops are some of the most dangerous moments for an Officer and courts want to protect them. However, There are a few limits to this authority. That's where MC & J come in. If you were charged with Resisting Officer with or without violence, or Battery on a Law enforcement officer, MC & J can review the facts to determine that the appropriate protocol was followed. There are many defenses to these charges and MC & J is the best choice to ensure that you are protected.
An Officer has asked me for Identification, what should I do?
If an officer has asked you for Identification, the first question you should ask is if you are free to leave. If the Officer does not answer that question you may want to say that you do not wish to speak with the officer. In the alternative, you could provide your identification. The last thing you should do it lie to an officer as this may add a charge of providing false ID to a Law Enforcement Officer. If the Officer keeps asking, it may be in your best interest to cooperate with the Officer and determine if there were any conduct issue at a later time.
I saw an Officer arresting someone and I video taped it, but the Officer has asked me leave the area and stop recording, What should I do?
As mentioned earlier, Officers have broad authority at the scene of a crime. They need to be safe and have control to ensure that they conduct a good investigation. If you do not comply with an Officer's request to leave a scene of a crime, they have discretion to arrest you for Resisting without Violence. Generally, you should keep a safe distance from a police investigation. While you can record the actions in a public area, it should be clear to every one present that you are recording.
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