As a Gainesville criminal defense lawyer, Rick has worked with clients who have been accused or convicted of many different offenses. Some other offenses that are common are resisting an officer with or without violence, trespassing, criminal mischief, loitering and prowling.
Resisting An Officer With Violence
According to Florida Statute 843.01, resisting an officer with violence is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison. This statute prohibits a person from using or threatening any physical violence against an officer – this law holds even as an officer is making an arrest. The purpose of this statute is to prevent injury to law enforcement, as well as prevent any escalation in such situations.
Resisting An Officer Without Violence
This Florida Statute is also known as “resisting arrest without violence” and is a first degree misdemeanor. The maximum sentence is one year in county jail. Common problems may arise, typically when the officer does not have the right to search or seizure, has unlawfully entered a home, or possibly demanding a citizen to commit an act that is actually illegal.
As defined, trespassing prohibits anyone who “without being authorized, licensed, or invited”, or who “willfully enters or remains in any structure or conveyance” against the owner or lessees clear instructions or posted signs to be committing Florida Statute 810.08. However, a Gainesville criminal defense attorney will warn, you cannot be convicted by an innocent mistake. If you have been warned you must leave.
Criminal mischief is defined by committing a crime when the defendant knowingly, willfully, and maliciously causes damage to any property belonging to someone else. Common criminal mischief crimes are graffiti and vandalism. If the damage is valued at less than $200, it is considered a second-degree misdemeanor punishable for 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. As property value increases, the charge becomes more punishable and fines become greater. As for graffiti convictions, community service is typically required and can include working to remove the graffiti.
Loitering & Prowling
Loitering and prowling consist of 2 key elements:
- The accused must loiter or prowl in a manner unusual for a law-abiding citizen
- The factual circumstances must establish that the accused’s behavior is alarming in nature, creating an imminent threat to public safety.
If the accused flees or tries to conceal himself, an object, or refuses to identify himself to an officer, an alarm is presumed. This is punishable by up to six months of probation, 60-days in jail, or up to a $500 fine.
If you have been accused or convicted of any of these crimes, do not hesitate to contact Rick Mercure at (352) 222-2047 for legal representation.