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Should I Resist an Unlawful Arrest?

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

August 4, 2022

When your freedom is being threatened, it may feel natural to push back. This is especially true if you believe you are being unlawfully detained. You may be wondering, can you resist arrest if you are innocent?

What Does It Mean to Resist Arrest?

Resisting arrest occurs when the suspect obstructs, delays, or physically fights back against their arrest. Examples include threatening the officer, kicking the officer, trying to run, not complying with demands, etc.

Florida classifies resisting arrest two ways: resisting arrest without violence and resisting arrest with violence. Resisting arrest without violence is typically a misdemeanor offense. Resisting arrest with violence or threat of violence can be a felony.

What To Do Instead of Resisting Arrest

While it may be scary, it’s best not to resist arrest – even if it is unlawful. Generally, resisting arrest will only lead to future trouble for your case and could potentially cause you to be injured. Even if the initial charge is dropped or dismissed, you could still face a separate charge for resisting arrest.

Instead, comply with the officer’s demands and remain calm and silent. As soon as you are able, contact a defense attorney. If you have been unlawfully arrested, a defense attorney will work hard to prove it.

Be sure to take notes after your arrest. Write down all details that you believe can help prove that you were the victim of an unlawful arrest. If possible, contact witnesses who saw the arrest take place and who can corroborate your story.

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you’ve recently been subject to an unlawful arrest or were arrested for a crime you did not commit, contact our defense team at Hager & Schwartz, P.A.. We will work hard to prove that your rights were violated by law enforcement and help absolve you of your criminal charges.