Criminal Attorney For Resisting an Officer With Violence (RAWV) Charge In Fort Walton Beach, Destin & Okaloosa County
Resisting “with violence” raises the level of offense to a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Florida Statutes 843.01, lists the four basic elements to prove the crime of Resisting Officer with Violence (which are nearly identical to the misdemeanor version, except for one difference):
- The Defendant intentionally and knowingly resisted, obstructed, or opposed the officer by offering to do violence or actually doing violence.
- At the time, the officer was engaged in the execution of a legal process or engaged in the lawful execution of a legal duty.
- At the time, the officer was a person legally authorized to execute that legal duty or process.
- At the time, the defendant knew that the officer was a person legally authorized to execute that legal duty or process.
Perhaps the Florida Legislature intended the lines to be a shade of gray in order to give great deference to law enforcement and prosecutors, but as you can see, there is very little difference in the misdemeanor charge and the felony offense.
When does the physical act of “resisting” become violent in nature? That is why this is a charge that requires the help of an experience criminal defense lawyer to help you fight back against a system, that in many ways is stacked against the accused.
We also see situations where defendants are charged with Resisting with Violence and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer.
Now, in most cases this is a clear double-jeopardy violation because the elements of the Resisting with Violence charge subsume the Battery on Law Enforcement Officer charge.
That means that they should not be able to charge you with both, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t try to arrest you for both….
So if you were arrested for Resisting Arrest or Opposing or Obstructing an Officer, with or without violence, in Ft Walton Beach, Destin, or anywhere in Okaloosa County, please don’t hesitate to contact our office immediately.
It is imperative that you establish your legal defenses at the outset of Resisting Arrest charges in order to protect against overcharging and duplicative counts.