In Florida, per FS 843.01 Resisting an Officer with Violence is when:

A Defendant knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, opposes an officer by offering or doing violence to the person of such officer.

The State attorney must prove:

  • The Defendant knowingly and willfully resisted, obstructed, or opposed the officer by offering or doing violence to said officer;

  • At the time, the officer was engaged in lawful execution of a legal duty;

  • At the time, the officer was authorized to perform that legal duty; and

  • At the time the Defendant knew it was it was an officer.

Resisting arrest with violence is usually a charge that officers will add in lieu of or in addition to charging assault or battery on a law enforcement officer (add hyperlink to other page on website for these charges).


Resisting with violence is a third-degree felony and is punishable as follows:

  • Up to 5 years in prison; or

  • Up to 5 years on probation; and

  • $5,000.00 fine

Additionally, depending on the behavior exhibited, a prosecutor can add conditions such as refraining from drinking and random drug and alcohol screens, anger management, and even community service hours.

Just because prison is an option, sometimes, depending on a person’s criminal history and the facts of the case county jail time may be given instead of prison.

Additionally, anyone convicted of Resisting an Officer With Violence will be designated as a convicted felon and can lose certain rights such as the ability to own a gun or vote.


Different defenses are available depending on the facts of the case, however, not every case will have a defense. The defenses can be legal or factual in nature such as:

  • The Defendant’s actions were not knowingly or willfull;

  • The officer was not performing a legal duty;

  • The Defendant did not know the person was a cop;

  • Illegal arrest; or

  • Excessive force


Case #: 17MM024539

Charge: Disorderly Intoxication

Description: Police were called when young man refused to get out of an Uber driver’s car. Police dragged the young man out of the car. Police could smell the odor of alcohol and the young man was cursing and running away from them.

Results: Case Dismissed


Resisting an Officer With Violence although the lowest degree of felony in Florida can have a lasting impact on your future.


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