Criminal Defense Question: Resisting Arrest Charge Without Another Charge?

Question: I was pulled over by a police officer after driving on the wrong side of the roadway and driving around a barricade. I was immediately handcuffed and put in the car. She never stated that I was under arrest, and drove me to jail. At the jail I was told I resisted arrest without violence. Can I be arrested without performing an arrestable offense?

Amir’s Answer: Based on the facts you’ve provided, I don’t know that there was an offense that rises to the level of Resisting. Florida Statute § 843.02 / Resisting Officer Without Violence states:

Whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer as defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8), or (9); member of the Parole Commission 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, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

In order to sustain a charge of Resisting, the State must establish that a law enforcement officer was engaged in the lawful execution of a legal duty & that you did something to oppose, obstruct, or interfere with the officer’s efforts. We often see officers charge Resisting where the facts don’t support the charge. A careful analysis of the facts and circumstances will allow you to better understand whether the charges will be sustained. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer will give you the best chance of defending yourself.

Author: Amir Ladan
A former assistant state attorney for Orange/Osceola Counties, Amir has handled thousands of cases and dozens of trials, ranging from DUI and traffic offenses to murder, in both adult and juvenile court.
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