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Understanding Florida Resisting Arrest Penalties


Being placed under arrest is a stressful and often frightening event. Complying with the requests of the arresting officer at all times is vital, and failure to follow instructions may result in additional charges. Resisting arrest carries penalties that can severely impact your case. Florida currently has laws in place for resisting arrest using violence and resisting arrest without violence. Understanding Florida resting arrest penalties is important if you or someone you know is being charged with either crime.

Resisting Arrest without Violence

During an arrest, any non-violent action that interferes with a police officer who is performing a legitimate action related to law enforcement is considered resisting arrest without violence or obstruction of justice. The addition of this charge can increase the likelihood of a conviction. Examples of non-violent resistance acts include:

  • Refusing to obey verbal commands;
  • Refusing to leave;
  • Refusing to stand;
  • Refusing to place hands behind back or tensing arms;
  • Concealing evidence;
  • Inciting others to interfere with lawful police activities.

The testimony of an arresting police officer is often the only proof available, and seemingly minor actions can represent resistance.

Resisting Arrest with Violence

Under Florida law, willfully resisting and obstructing an arresting officer by committing an act of violence towards the officer is resisting arrest with violence. The charge may also be filed if an individual “offers” to commit an act of violence towards the arresting officer.

Florida Resisting Arrest Penalties

Currently resisting arrest without violence conviction is a first degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is a $1,000.00 fine and up to one year in jail. Resisting arrest with violence is a third degree felony in Florida with a maximum fine of $5,000. If convicted of resisting arrest with violence an individual could face up to five years in prison or up to five years on probation.

Reach Out to Our Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you or someone you know has been charged with resisting arrest in Florida, having a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on your side gives you the best chance of avoiding the charge. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Roman & Roman, P.A. in Clearwater, Florida can provide you with the representation that you need. Having a qualified attorney on your side makes the process of fighting charges and a potential conviction easier to understand and manage. Contact us today at 877-767-1032 to schedule a free consultation at one of our convenient locations.




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