Obstructing Justice

Chapter 843 of the Florida Statutes lists several crimes that are considered obstructions of justice. Any person who is charged with one of these criminal offenses needs to take the accusations very seriously.

Prosecutors will often seek the maximum statutory punishments, and they know that judges will also be more likely to impose harsh sentences on alleged offenders who are convicted of interfering with the criminal justice process. A conviction can have extremely severe consequences, including a lengthy prison sentence and significant fines.

Attorney for Obstructing Justice Crimes in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you have been arrested for any type of alleged obstruction of justice, you will want to be absolutely sure that you have skilled legal counsel before you enter the courtroom. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. defends clients from such areas of Broward County as Fort Lauderdale, Miramar, Wilton Manors, Weston, Hallandale Beach, Margate, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, and many more.

Our obstructing justice attorneys fully investigate these cases and work tirelessly to get charges reduced or completely dismissed. You can let our firm provide a thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation when you call (954) 716-8538 right now.


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Obstructing Justice Crimes in Florida

Some of the most commonly prosecuted crimes under Chapter 843 of the Florida Statutes include:

  • Resisting Officer With Violence to His or Her Person — It is a third-degree felony under Florida Statute § 843.01 if an alleged offender knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes any recognized officer or other person legally authorized to execute process in the execution of legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty, by offering or doing violence to the person of such officer or legally authorized person
  • Resisting Officer Without Violence (ROWOV) to His or Her Person — It is a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.02 if an alleged offender resists, obstructs, or opposes any recognized officer or other person legally authorized to execute process in the execution of legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty, without offering or doing violence to the person of such officer or legally authorized person
  • Aiding Escape — It is a third-degree felony under Florida Statute § 843.12 if an alleged offender knowingly aids or assists a person in escaping, attempting to escape, or who has escaped, from an officer or person who has or is entitled to the lawful custody of such person
  • Compounding Felony, Florida Statute § 843.14 — It is a third-degree felony under Florida Statute § 843.14 if an alleged offender, having knowledge of the commission of an offense punishable with death or by imprisonment in the state prison, takes money or a gratuity or reward, or an engagement therefor, upon an agreement or understanding, expressed or implied, to compound or conceal such offense, or not to prosecute therefor, or not to give evidence thereof, but this is a first-degree misdemeanor when the offense of which the alleged offender had knowledge was punishable in any other manner

Additional forms of obstruction of justice listed under this chapter of the Statutes include:

  • Unlawful Possession of a Concealed Handcuff Key — Third-degree felony under Florida Statute § 843.021
  • Depriving Officer of Means of Protection or Communication — Third-degree felony under Florida Statute § 843.025
  • Obstruction by Disguised Person — First-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.03
  • Refusing to Assist Prison Officers in Arresting Escaped Convicts — First-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.04
  • Resisting Timber Agent — Second-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.05
  • Neglect or Refusal to Aid Peace Officers — Second-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.06
  • Falsely Personating Officer, etc. — Third-degree felony under Florida Statute § 843.08, although this can be a second-degree felony if the alleged offender personates an officer in the commission of a felony and a first-degree felony if the commission of the felony results in the death or personal injury of another human being
  • Prohibited Use of Certain Lights — First-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.081
  • Unlawful Use of Police Badges or Other Indicia of Authority — First-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.085
  • Criminal Actions Under Color of Law or Through Use of Simulated Legal Process — Third-degree felony under Florida Statute § 843.0855
  • Escape Through Voluntary Action of Officer — Second-degree felony under Florida Statute § 843.09
  • Escape by Negligence of Officer — First-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.10
  • Conveying Tools Into Jail to Aid Escape; Forcible Rescue — Second-degree felony under Florida Statute § 843.11 if an alleged offender aids or assists a prisoner in his or her endeavors to escape from a place of confinement, but can be a first-degree misdemeanor if the person whose escape or rescue was effected or intended was charged with an offense not capital nor punishable by imprisonment in the state prison
  • Aiding Escape of Juvenile Inmates of Correctional Institutions — Second-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.13
  • Failure of Defendant on Bail to Appear — Third-degree felony under Florida Statute § 843.15 if an alleged offender was released in connection with a felony charge or while awaiting sentence or pending review by certiorari after conviction of any offense, or a first-degree misdemeanor if the alleged offender was released in connection with a misdemeanor charge
  • Unlawful to Install or Transport Radio Equipment Using Assigned Frequency of State or Law Enforcement Officers — First-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.16
  • Unauthorized Transmissions to and Interference with Governmental and Associated Radio Frequencies Prohibited — First-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.165
  • Unlawful Use of Police Communications — First-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.167(1)(b), although intercepting any police radio communication by use of a scanner or any other means for the purpose of using that communication to assist in committing a crime or to escape from or avoid detection, arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment in connection with the commission of such crime is subject to enhanced penalties for the alleged crimes such that a second-degree misdemeanor is punished as if it were a first-degree misdemeanor, a first-degree misdemeanor is punished as if it were a third-degree felony, a third-degree felony is punished as if it were a second-degree felony, a second-degree felony is punished as if it were a first-degree felony, and a first-degree felony is punished as if it were a life felony
  • Publishing Name and Address of Law Enforcement Officer — First-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.17
  • Boats; Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer — Third-degree felony under Florida Statute § 843.18
  • Offenses Against Police Dogs, Fire Dogs, SAR dogs, or Police Horses — Third-degree felony under Florida Statute § 843.19(2) if an alleged offender intentionally and knowingly, without lawful cause or justification, causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or death to, or uses a deadly weapon upon, a police dog, fire dog, SAR dog, or police horse, but this is a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.19(3) if an alleged offender actually and intentionally maliciously touches, strikes, or causes bodily harm to a police dog, fire dog, SAR dog, or police horse, or a second-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.19(4) if an alleged offender intentionally or knowingly maliciously harasses, teases, interferes with, or attempts to interfere with a police dog, fire dog, SAR dog, or police horse while the animal is in the performance of its duties
  • Harassment of Participant of Neighborhood Crime Watch Program Prohibited — First-degree misdemeanor under Florida Statute § 843.20
  • Depriving Crime Victim of Medical Care — Third-degree felony under Florida Statute § 843.21(1) if an alleged victim’s medical condition worsens as a result of the deprivation of medical care, or a second-degree felony under Florida Statute § 843.21(2) if deprivation of medical care contributes or results in the death of the alleged victim
  • Traveling Across County Lines With Intent to Commit a Burglary — Under Florida Statute § 843.22, the degree of the burglary shall be reclassified to the next higher degree if an alleged offender who commits a burglary travels any distance with the intent to commit the burglary in a Florida county other than the alleged offender’s county of residence

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Broward County Obstructing Justice Penalties

The possible sentence for an alleged offender depends on the specific classification of the alleged offense. The statutory maximums under Florida law are as follows:

  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor —Up to 60 days in jail and fines of up to $500
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and fines of up to $1,000
  • Third-Degree Felony — Up to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000
  • Second-Degree Felony — Up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000
  • First-Degree Felony — Up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000
  • Life Felony — Up to life in prison and fines of up to $15,000

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Fort Lauderdale Obstructing Justice Resources

Probation Division - Broward Sheriff's Office — This website lists the four office locations and contact information for the Broward Sheriff's Office. There is also information about the Day Reporting and Reentry Division, Drug Court Treatment Program, In-Custody Behavioral Services, and Pre-Trial Services Division.

540 Southeast 3rd Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 357-5900

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Officer Ethical Standards of Conduct — This Florida Department of Law Enforcement webpage lists the purpose, policy, scope, principles, and rationale of police officers in Florida. The website also contains links to publications, training resources, and other general information.


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Find an Obstructing Justice Lawyer in Broward County

Were you recently arrested for an alleged obstruction of justice in Florida? You will want to obtain legal representation as soon as possible.

Meltzer & Bell, P.A. fights to protect the rights of people in Coconut Creek, Davie, Coral Springs, Tamarac, Deerfield Beach, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, and many other communities in the greater Fort Lauderdale area. Our obstructing justice attorneys will review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call (954) 716-8538 today to take advantage of a free consultation.

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