Failing to follow the lawful order of a police officer in Sarasota is an unlawful act. The offense of failing to obey the order of a police officer in Florida is outlined under Florida Statute 316.072. This law generally applies after a traffic-related offense has been committed at a traffic stop, but it does also extend to other circumstances and offenses.
This crime is committed when a cyclist, walking pedestrian, or driver of a motor vehicle is given a lawful order or direction by a police officer, and the person refuses to follow their instruction. The law defines the term “police officer” to include a deputy sheriff, a municipal police officer, a traffic infraction law enforcement officer, fire department members, a state trooper, traffic crash investigation officers, and EMT responders.
If you are facing charges for failing to obey the lawful order of a police officer in Sarasota, FL., we recommend that you seek the help and guidance of a reputable criminal defense lawyer from The Law Place. Our law firm has over 75 years’ worth of experience helping clients get their cases dropped or reduced if they are facing charges for failing to follow the lawful order of a police officer in Florida. Contact us today for a free consultation with a defense attorney if you think you may have a case. Your attorney will be able to examine your case to determine what legal options are available to you. The sooner you seek the help of an attorney, the greater the chance you’ll have of winning and getting your charge dropped. Don’t hesitate to give us a phone call today at (941) 444-4444.
How Is a “Lawful Order” Defined?
Over the years, there have been multiple debates over what is meant by the “lawful order” of a police officer. This debate was highly controversial in the Sandra Bland case that took place in Waller County, Texas. In this case, a police officer pulled the vehicle belonging to Sandra Bland to a stop after she failed to signal. At the scene of the traffic stop, the police officer asked Bland to extinguish the cigarette she was smoking, but she refused. Bland then refused to exit her vehicle when asked. Throughout this whole encounter, the police officer present repeatedly stated that they were giving her a “lawful order.” Although, there have been wide debates concerning whether the orders of the police officer were, in fact, lawful. The courts in Texas and Florida have previously tended to remain quiet on what is meant by “lawful order” in cases of traffic stops. The vagueness of the statute makes these cases highly controversial.
In Florida, there are few clear guidelines and very little agreement on what is actually meant by the “lawful order” of a police officer. However, this could be beneficial for you. A defense attorney will be able to exploit the vagueness of the statute to defend you in your case. If you are concerned about your charges, we strongly recommend that you seek some legal guidance. One of our defense attorneys can answer any questions that you may have to try and put your mind at ease. We understand that this may be a very difficult time for you, and that is why we are here to help.
For a free legal consultation with a failure to obey lawful order lawyer serving Sarasota, call 941-444-4444
Penalties for Failure to Obey the Lawful Order of a Police Officer in Sarasota
Some people fail to follow the lawful orders of police officers with little regard to the consequences that they may face. This is unsurprising considering that most people in Florida are unaware of the penalties that a person can face for failing to follow the lawful order of a police officer or even realize that disobeying a lawful order is an offense.
The law very clearly classifies the crime of disobeying the lawful order of a police officer as a second-degree misdemeanor. A person who is charged with a second-degree misdemeanor in the State of Florida can expect to be sentenced to sixty days in a Florida county jail, six months of probation, and a fine worth up to $500.
If you have been accused of and are facing charges for failing to follow the lawful order of a law enforcement officer, you should contact us today. One of our defense attorneys at our law firm will work as hard as they can to try and get both your charge and case dropped. We understand that this may be a very difficult time for both you and your family. Let us help you ease some of the burdens and stresses you are facing. It is always worth fighting your defense. You don’t have to simply accept the penalties handed to you.
Sarasota Failure to Obey Lawful Order Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
What Defenses Can a Lawyer Use in a Defense Case?
An attorney at The Law Place will use their wealth of experience and knowledge of the Florida statutes to build you a strong defense case. Not only will they be able to use the general pretrial and trial defenses that are used in any criminal case, but they will also be able to use defenses that are specific to your kind of case. There are a few defenses that an attorney can use, particularly in defense of their client, who has been accused of failing to follow the lawful order of a police officer. These include unlawful order, the police officer’s unknown status, and protected speech.
An attorney may be able to make the case that the lawful order given to you by a law enforcement officer was, in fact, unlawful. In the State of Florida, it is completely legal to disobey an unlawful order. If your attorney uses this as your defense, it is then the responsibility of the state to gather all of the necessary evidence to prove that the order given to you by the law enforcement officer was lawful. If the state is unable to prove that it was lawful, it is highly likely that your case will be dropped.
Officer’s Status Unknown
An attorney may also be able to use the defense that you were not aware of the police officer’s status when they gave you the lawful order. You must have had some sort of legitimate reason to know that the officer giving you the order was official and not an impersonator. We recommend that if you have even the smallest suspicion or doubt about the identity of the officer at the scene of your traffic stop that you immediately speak to one of our defense attorneys. An attorney at The Law Place will be able to investigate the circumstances of your traffic stop to try and determine the status of the person who gave you the lawful order. Sometimes, an attorney will discover that the officer who gave the lawful order was an imposter, and they can then use this in defense of their client.
The words that you use to disobey the orders given to you will rarely be classified as you disobeying a lawful order of a law enforcement officer alone. Generally, because of the principle of protected speech, the words that people use to refuse the orders given to them by officers must be accompanied by obstructive physical conduct or some form of violence.
For example, if a state trooper has stopped your vehicle in Florida, and you acted cooperatively, politely, and non-violently, an attorney will be able to use your behavior as part of your defense. It is much harder to convict a peaceful person with disobeying a lawful order than a physically violent person.
What Can a Defense Lawyer Do for You?
It should be no surprise that the main role of your defense attorney is to represent you. However, there are many aspects involved in that role that you may be unaware of. Your attorney will be able to do the following for you:
- They will be able to counsel you and take all the necessary steps required to build you a strong defense.
- They will investigate the circumstances of your charge by gathering the facts, interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports, and researching relevant case precedents and statutes.
- They will also examine witnesses at depositions, trials, or hearings.
- They will create strong and compelling defense arguments to present to judges and juries.
All of our defense attorneys are excellent communicators and listeners. We understand how daunting it can feel to be charged with a criminal offense, and that is why we are here for you. We can listen to all of your worries and concerns and relieve you of the stresses you may have weighing on your shoulders. Our skilled attorneys will be able to give you all the legal advice you may be seeking in a free case review, as well as helping you navigate the complex laws that exist in the State of Florida.
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How Does The Law Place Differ From Other Florida Law Firms?
The Law Place is unique in the sense that our legal team has over 75 years of combined experience representing clients in the State of Florida. Our attorneys are highly knowledgeable on the laws in Florida, are constantly updating themselves on the new laws enforced, and are sharpening their advocacy skills to ensure that they can give their clients the best chance of having their cases dropped. We pride ourselves on the fact that we have handled cases in almost every Florida county, as well as fighting cases in various federal courts.
Our firm is also a strong believer in teamwork. Unlike other firms in Florida, our attorneys are happy to approach their colleagues, with your permission, to ask for their professional opinion so that they can ensure that their client is benefitting from all of the knowledge our firm has accumulated over the years. We strive to achieve the very best outcomes for our clients and don’t stop until our clients are satisfied.
Contact The Law Place Today!
If you have been charged or are facing charges for failing to follow the lawful order of a police officer in the State of Florida, you should seek both the legal guidance and representation of one of our reputable defense attorneys at The Law Place. You must speak to us as soon as you can following your charge so that we can immediately begin work building you a strong defense case. We understand how difficult this may be for you and your family. You shouldn’t have to suffer because of one little mistake you made. Our legal team is well experienced in defending people who have been charged with failing to follow the lawful order of official officers. The positive client reviews that we have received are a representation of that. You can be assured that by letting one of our defense attorneys work on your case, you will be giving yourself the greatest chance you have of getting your charge dropped.
An attorney-client relationship at The Law Place is one of strong commitment and confidentiality. Don’t hesitate to contact us today if you believe you may have a case. One of our defense attorneys will be able to give you all the answers you may need in a free consultation. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us now at (941) 444-4444.