Last Updated: May 4th, 2022 at 4:16 pm
Read Time: 5 Minutes
As a first-degree misdemeanor criminal offense in the state of Florida, many individuals come to the team at Weinstein Legal with questions regarding how to get resisting arrest charges dropped. Having a criminal conviction on your record can negatively impact your life for years to come, which is why it is essential to hire a well-versed criminal defense attorney who knows how to beat a resisting arrest charge.
Lawyer Matt Shafran, head of the criminal defense division at Weinstein Legal, serves as a Florida resisting arrest attorney. Mr. Shafran has years of experience representing clients in court and has helped countless individuals to achieve positive outcomes when fighting their case. You need an attorney who will work tirelessly to prove your innocence and fight aggressively to protect your rights. Mr. Shafran is ready to take your case and will provide you with a free case evaluation with no obligation to review the facts before you proceed. Contact Weinstein Legal today at 954-845-0505 and ask for defense attorney Matt Shafran if you are arrested and need to know how to get resisting arrest charges dropped.
What Are the Elements of Resisting Arrest?
There are four crucial elements of resisting arrest that the prosecutor must prove in a court of law. However, the law does leave some discretion to the arresting officer which can lead to charges that are unwarranted. For this reason, it is crucial to have an aggressive attorney fighting on your behalf to get your charges dropped. You must hire an attorney who is familiar with how to beat a resisting arrest charge.
The elements of resisting arrest include:
- You must resist a law enforcement officer, obstruct them from performing their duty while arresting you, or oppose a member of law enforcement during an arrest.
- The law enforcement officer must be engaged and in the process of executing a legal process or duty at the time of resistance, obstruction, or opposition.
- The law enforcement officer must be legally authorized to execute such a process.
- You must knowingly resist, obstruct, or oppose the law enforcement officer and you must be aware that they are a member of the police.
If the prosecution cannot prove these four elements of resisting arrest, you may be able to have your charges dropped or reduced. However, you need an experienced attorney to review the facts of your case and ensure that you receive a fair day in court.
How Much Resistance Must a Prosecutor Prove?
Another common question individuals have when asking how to get resisting arrest charges dropped, is how much “resistance” a prosecutor must prove to establish guilt. What qualifies as resisting? The wording “to obstruct or oppose” can cause different individuals to interpret resisting arrest in different manners.
In the state of Florida, either acts of violence or resistance or threats of violence can constitute grounds for a resisting arrest charge. Any type of physical violence, whether that be striking an officer or throwing an object at an officer meets these criteria. Additionally, threatening to harm an officer while they are in the process of arresting you qualifies as resisting arrest.
It is important to note that disagreeing with a member of law enforcement during arrest is not enough to substantiate opposition. Sometimes, however, aggressive arguments and yelling may qualify. Each situation is unique and when looking at how to beat a resisting arrest charge you must have an experienced attorney review the facts of your case.
In these cases, it is often beneficial to review the body cam or dashcam footage of the incident to determine whether or not the defendant’s actions do constitute a criminal charge for resisting arrest.
Defenses for Resisting Arrest
If you are facing charges for resisting arrest, do not lose hope. An experienced criminal defense attorney will review the facts of your case and gather evidence on your behalf supporting your innocence. This evidence may include the aforementioned camera footage, the testimony of the arresting member of law enforcement, and other eyewitness testimony. Additionally, if there is surveillance footage available from a local business or video captured by a bystander this may be taken into evidence. There are several common defenses an attorney may employ when considering how to beat a resisting arrest charge.
Self-Defense/Use of Excessive Force
Law enforcement officers are prohibited from using excessive force against the individuals they arrest. If an officer does use excessive force against you, you may have a case to not only get resisting arrest charges dropped but also to counter-sue the police department.
Lack of Evidence or the Inability to Face Your Accuser
In order to convict you, the prosecutor’s office must have evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of resisting arrest. Often, a police officer’s word is not sufficient evidence to substantiate guilt. There must be proper documentation of the event, corroborating testimony from others present at the time of the arrest, or audio/video footage to support law enforcement’s claims.
Additionally, as the defendant, you have the right to face your accuser in a court of law. In the case of a resisting arrest charge, the accuser is the arresting officer. If your police officer is unable or does not wish to appear in court, you may be able to get your charges dropped.
Officer Fails to Identify Themself
One of the key elements of resisting arrest is that an individual must be aware they are resisting an officer of the law. If a police officer fails to properly identify themself before making an arrest, and the defendant cannot be reasonably expected to know they are a member of law enforcement, you may have a possible defense.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
If you are facing criminal charges need to know how to get resisting arrest charges dropped, contact Weinstein Legal today and ask for criminal defense attorney Matt Shafran. Mr. Shafran will work tirelessly to defend your rights, doing everything in his power to provide you with a favorable outcome. Do not face resisting arrest charges alone. A conviction will appear on your permanent record, which will be available for future employers, landlords, and more, to see. It may be possible to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
However, for the best possible chance, you require the defense of a lawyer who knows how to beat a resisting arrest charge. Attorney Matt Shafran will provide you with a free case evaluation to review the facts surrounding your arrest and advise you on the next steps. The phones at Weinstein Legal are open 24-hours a day, 365-days a year, and no call for help will ever go unanswered.