What is Resisting Arrest & Obstruction of Justice
Resisting Arrest and Obstruction of Justice are defined by F.S 843.02. Resisting/Obstructing an Officer is defines in Florida Statutes as resisting, obstructing, or opposing an officer in their legal duty. There are two kinds of resisting/obstruction charges, with violence and without violence.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest and Obstruction of Justice
If a person resist arrest or obstructs an officer without violence, then he is guilty of a 1st degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. If a person resists arrest or obstructs an officer with violence then he is guilty of a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison
Defenses for Resisting Arrest and Obstruction of Justice
If the officer is not in the course of a legal duty then the defendant has the right to resist the officer. Also the defendant may raise self defense claims. If the officer uses excessive force against the defendant then he may use reasonable force against the officer. Another defense to resisting or obstructing an officer is that the officers status was unknown. If a defendant fails to comply with a lawful command or a lawful arrest of an officer, but is unaware that the officer is in fact law enforcement it is a defense to the charges.