Resisting an Officer Without Violence (ROWOV)

It can be considered an obstruction of justice if an alleged offender resists arrest, and a person can face these criminal charges even if he or she does so in a non-violent manner. The offense of resisting officer without violence (ROWOV) to his or her person is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor and a conviction may have serious immediate and long-term consequences.

ROWOV charges are usually filed in addition to other underlying criminal offenses. Unfortunately, alleged offenders can face significant challenges in fighting ROWOV charges because such accusations are based almost entirely on the testimony of the arresting officers.

Fort Lauderdale Resisting an Officer Without Violence Lawyer

Were you recently charged with non-violently resisting an arrest in Florida? It is critical for you to immediately begin working with legal counsel who can investigate your case and develop a strong and formidable defense in court.

The dedicated ROWOV attorneys of Meltzer & Bell, P.A. fight on behalf of people in and around Broward County, including such areas as Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Hallandale Beach, Plantation, Deerfield Beach, Davie, and Coral Springs. Call (954) 716-8538 right now to have our firm review your case during a free, confidential consultation.


Broward County ROWOV Information Center


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Florida Charges for Resisting an Officer Without Violence

Florida Statute § 843.02 defines a person as resisting officer without violence to his or her person if the alleged offender resists, obstructs, or opposes any of the following parties in the lawful execution of their legal duties without offering or doing violence to them:

  • Full-time, part-time, or auxiliary law enforcement officer
  • Full-time, part-time, or auxiliary correctional officer
  • Correctional probation officer
  • Member of the Florida Commission on Offender Review or any administrative aide or supervisor employed by the commission
  • County probation officer
  • Parole and probation supervisor
  • Personnel or representative of the Department of Law Enforcement
  • Other person legally authorized to execute process in the execution of legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty

In order for an alleged offender to be convicted of ROWOV, a prosecutor needs to prove all four of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The alleged offender resisted, obstructed, or opposed the officer.
  • At the time, the officer was engaged in the execution of legal process or lawful execution of a legal duty.
  • At the time, the officer was a person legally authorized to execute process.
  • At the time, the alleged offender knew the officer was a person legally authorized to execute process.

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ROWOV Penalties in Broward County

If an alleged offender is convicted of resisting an officer without violence, he or she could face the following statutory maximum punishments:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines 

The possible consequences listed above will usually be in addition to whatever possible penalties are imposed for the underlying charges in these cases. Thus, it is very likely that an alleged offender could be facing much longer terms of imprisonment and higher fines.


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Resisting an Officer Without Violence Defenses in Fort Lauderdale

While it can be difficult for an alleged offender to dispute these types of charges, there are certainly effective legal defenses in such cases. Depending on the specific circumstances of a case, these defenses may include, but are not limited to:

  • Alleged offender did not know officer was a person legally authorized to execute process
  • Excessive force by the officer
  • False accusations
  • No resistance, obstruction, or opposition to the officer
  • Officer was not on duty at the time, meaning alleged offender did not interfere with the execution of a legal process or lawful execution of a legal duty
  • Unlawful arrest

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Find the Best ROWOV Lawyer in Broward County

If you have been charged with non-violently resisting an officer in Florida, you will want to make sure that you obtain legal representation as soon as possible. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. aggressively defends clients in Sunrise, Pompano Beach, Margate, Coconut Creek, Tamarac, Wilton Manors, Weston, and the greater Fort Lauderdale area.

Our firm has more than two decades of combined experience in Broward County courts, including time spent on both sides of the courtroom. Let our resisting an officer without violence attorneys review your own case during a free consultation by calling (954) 716-8538 today.

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