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Work with an Experienced Former Prosecutor

Tampa criminal defense attorney Andrew Buda and his team of attorneys at Buda Law understand the gravity of resisting arrest charges and how they can impact the accused. Whether the charges include violent or non-violent actions, the repercussions of a misdemeanor or felony resisting arrest offense can remain on a person’s criminal record for years to come.

Attorney Andrew Buda offers unparalleled legal defense for those accused of resisting an officer in Tampa. When you work with Buda Law, you can trust that your defense is in the best hands and that your resisting arrest attorney will do whatever it takes to get your charges lowered, reduced, or dismissed.

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Call Buda Law at (813) 322-2832 or reach out online to discuss your criminal charges with a Tampa resisting arrest lawyer today. 

What is Considered Resisting Arrest?

Resisting arrest in Florida is defined under Florida Statutes 843.01, which considers it a criminal offense to willfully resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer or person legally authorized to execute legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty, without offering or doing violence to the person of the officer.

This Florida law highlights the seriousness with which Florida treats the act of resisting arrest, encompassing actions that range from providing false identification to physically evading arrest. The statute clarifies that resistance can be passive or active, but the distinction lies in the absence or presence of violence toward the law enforcement officer.

Whether your resisting an officer’s charges involve violent actions or not, it’s important to seek legal representation immediately. The sooner you contact the Tampa criminal defense lawyers at Buda Law, the sooner they can begin crafting your defense strategy. 

Tampa Resisting Arrest Defense Lawyer

Assaulting vs. Resisting vs. Obstructing a Police Officer

Assaulting, resisting, and obstructing a police officer are distinct charges under Florida law, each carrying its own legal definitions and consequences. 

  • Assaulting a police officer involves an intentional act that causes the officer to fear imminent physical harm or an actual attempt to inflict physical harm. 
  • Resisting an officer refers to actions that restrict or oppose the officer’s efforts to perform a legal duty or execute a legal process, which can occur with or without violence. 
  • Obstructing a police officer encompasses a broader range of behaviors aimed at impeding or making the officer’s lawful duty more difficult, often through non-violent means such as providing false information or physically blocking an officer’s path without engaging in violence. 

Examples of Resisting Arrest

Examples of resisting arrest cover a wide spectrum of behaviors, reflecting the various ways an individual can hinder or oppose law enforcement officers’ efforts without necessarily resorting to violence. This includes:

  • Fleeing from a police officer when they attempt to make a lawful arrest.
  • Providing false identification or misleading information during an investigative stop.
  • Physically pulling away or attempting to evade handcuffing.
  • Passively going limp or refusing to walk to the patrol car.
  • Verbally threatening the officer in a manner that obstructs their ability to perform a lawful duty.

Even seemingly minor actions, such as refusing to put your hands behind your back for handcuffing or ignoring lawful commands during a traffic stop, can be considered forms of resisting arrest. It’s important to note that these actions do not need to cause harm or violence to be classified under resisting arrest.

Tampa Resisting Arrest Defense Attorney

Is Resisting Arrest a Violent Crime?

Resisting arrest can be classified differently depending on the circumstances and jurisdiction, but it is not inherently categorized as a violent crime. The key distinction lies in whether the act of resistance involved violence or the threat of violence towards the arresting officer.

Resisting Arrest Without Violence

Resisting arrest without violence is considered a misdemeanor and occurs in situations where an individual obstructs or opposes police officers during their official duties, but does so without using physical force or violence.

This can include actions such as running away from a police officer attempting an arrest, refusing to comply with lawful orders, providing false information during an investigation, or any other non-violent means of resisting or evading arrest.

In Florida, resisting an officer without violence is still considered a serious offense. If you’ve been charged with resisting arrest without violence, contact Tampa misdemeanor defense attorney Andrew Buda at Buda Law today. 

Resisting Arrest With Violence

If the resistance includes acts of violence or threats toward a police officer, it may be escalated to a felony charge. Resisting arrest with violence constitutes a more severe criminal charge than its non-violent counterpart and occurs when an individual uses physical force or threats of violence against a law enforcement officer during the act of resisting.

This category can encompass a range of behaviors from striking or attempting to strike an officer, using any form of aggressive physical action to prevent an arrest, to threatening violence in a manner that puts the officer in fear for their safety. 

Tampa Resisting Arrest Attorneys

Is Resisting Arrest a Felony?

Whether resisting arrest is classified as a felony largely relies on the specifics of the incident, including the jurisdiction’s laws and whether violence was used or threatened during the act of resistance.

In many cases, resisting arrest without violence is considered a misdemeanor, characterized by non-violent actions that hinder an officer’s ability to perform their legal duty. However, if the resistance includes acts of violence against a law enforcement officer, the charge can escalate to a felony. The distinction between a misdemeanor and a felony in these instances hinges on the presence of violent behavior toward the law enforcement officer.

If you’re facing charges of resisting arrest with violence, contact Tampa felony defense attorney Andrew Buda to discuss your charges today. 

Florida Resisting Arrest Penalties

Resisting arrest without violence is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida, carrying penalties that include up to one year in jail, one year of probation, and fines up to $1,000.

Resisting arrest with violence is considered a more severe offense and is classified as a third-degree felony. This felony charge can lead to stiffer penalties, including up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and fines up to $5,000.  

Tampa Resisting Arrest Lawyer

Why You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney for Resisting Arrest Charges

Facing charges of resisting arrest, whether with or without violence, places you in a challenging legal situation. This is why enlisting the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential.

A Tampa resisting arrest attorney can effectively scrutinize the evidence against you, challenging its validity and presenting counterarguments that can introduce reasonable doubt regarding your actions during the resisting arrest incident. In criminal law, proving guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” is the standard for a conviction.

A seasoned criminal defense attorney can use a number of different strategies to challenge your resisting arrest charges, including but not limited to:

  • Demonstrating that the accused lacked knowledge of the police officer’s legal authority
  • Challenging the lawfulness of the officer’s actions
  • Proving that the accused’s actions did not constitute resistance
Tampa Resisting Arrest Defense Law Firm

Call Tampa Resisting Arrest Attorney Andrew Buda of Buda Law For a Free Case Evaluation Today

Tampa criminal defense attorney Andrew Buda is committed to protecting those against serious allegations, including resisting an officer. Don’t let these criminal charges dictate your future without fighting for your rights. If you’re facing charges of resisting an officer, potentially leading to a first-degree misdemeanor or a third-degree felony, secure your defense by contacting Buda Law as soon as possible.

Call Buda Law at (813) 322-2832 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a Tampa resisting arrest attorney today.


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