It is considered unlawful to disobey the command of a police officer in Venice, Florida. Generally, this law is applied to traffic-related offenses committed at traffic stops. However, it can be extended to other offenses too. Florida Statute 316.072 stipulates that the failure to obey the instruction of a police officer is an offense and can be punished as such. The offense is committed when the lawful order of a police officer is ignored by the driver of a motor vehicle, a cyclist, or a walking pedestrian. In this situation, the term ‘police officer’ includes a number of positions, including deputy sheriffs, municipal police officers, and state troopers.
If you have been accused of failing to obey the lawful order or instruction of a police officer in Venice, FL., then you may need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney from a creditable law firm. We recommend that you seek legal advice as soon as possible so that you have the best chance of success.
At The Law Place, we have over 75 years of combined experience in making sure that our clients have their charges dropped or reduced when facing prosecution for failing to obey a lawful order. Contact us today for a free case evaluation with a member of our team, who will examine your case and give you honest, impartial advice. The sooner you seek representation, the better your chances of success become. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so call us now at (941) 444-4444.
How Is a ‘Lawful Order’ Defined?
Many debates concerning the details of ‘lawful order’ have arisen over the years. There is very little clarity on what constitutes the ‘lawful order’ of a police officer in some states. The highly controversial Sandra Bland case that took place in Waller County, Texas, is a perfect example of this. In this case, a police officer conducted a routine traffic stop on the vehicle of Sandra Bland after she failed to appropriately signal. During the traffic stop, the police officer requested that Bland extinguish the cigarette she had been smoking. After Bland refused to do so, the officer requested that she step out of her vehicle. Bland again refused to follow the officer’s instructions. During this entire encounter, the police officer on the scene repeatedly stated that Bland was being given a ‘lawful order.’
The controversy, however, is based on the lack of clarity that surrounds this statute. Doubts have been expressed surrounding the lawfulness of the officer’s request. Courts in both Texas and Florida have remained quiet on the topic of ‘lawful order,’ giving no further details and failing to eliminate the vagueness of the statute.
Unfortunately, there is little understanding or agreement on how ‘lawful order’ can be defined in Venice, Florida, and it seems that it may remain this way. However, this can be used to your advantage. An experienced defense attorney will have the necessary skills to use this ambiguity to your advantage, making it your defense.
If you have concerns over the criminal charges you are facing, we advise that you seek the advice of a reputable defense attorney as soon as possible. The team at The Law Place offers a free consultation service so that you can get confidential legal advice with no strings attached. We understand that this must be a very stressful period in your life. That is why the knowledge of an experienced attorney will be crucial to the outcome of your case. Call us today for professional, impartial advice.
What Actions Can Be Considered a Failure to Obey Lawful Order?
There are several different actions for which you can be charged with failure to obey a lawful order, for example:
- A refusal to provide your details to a law enforcement officer when asked (name, address, date of birth, etc.).
- Providing a false name or address to an officer.
- Refusal to provide an officer with the correct details of the vehicle owner.
- Refusal to stop the vehicle or to stop walking after being asked or signaled to do so.
- Refusal to provide your driver’s license and registration details to an officer.
- Refusal to sign a citation with an officer present. It is important to remember that a citation is not an admission of guilt.
If you are unsure as to why you have received your failure to obey lawful order charge, then you must contact a reputable law firm and hire the help of an experienced attorney. A The Law Place, we offer a free case evaluation service so you can receive reliable and confidential legal advice.
Who Can Give a Lawful Order?
As we have previously mentioned, there are numerous official departments that can issue lawful orders, including the following:
- Law enforcement officers, such as deputy sheriffs, state troopers, and municipal police officers.
- Traffic crash investigation officers, as stipulated in Florida Statute 316.640.
- Traffic infraction officers, as stipulated in Florida Statute 316.640.
- Members of the fire department responding to a fire, rescue, or any other emergency.
- EMT responders or certified emergency medical technicians who are at the scene of an emergency.
What Penalties Could I Face for Failing to Obey the Lawful Order of a Police Officer in Venice?
The consequences of failing to follow the lawful order of a police officer can be a lot more serious than people generally anticipate in Venice, FL. In fact, many people are completely unaware that it is even an offense at all. In the State of Florida, the law clearly defines this offense as a second-degree misdemeanor. The punishment for a person who commits a second-degree misdemeanor in the State of Florida is up to sixty days in county jail, as well as six months of probation and a fine of up to $500.
If you have been charged with a failure to obey the lawful order of a law enforcement officer in Venice, Florida, then you will be facing charges for a second-degree misdemeanor. We strongly advise that you contact a criminal defense attorney that will work hard to have your charges decreased or dropped entirely. An experienced attorney will give you the advice and information you need so that you can be one step closer to getting your life back to normal. Don’t just accept the punishment handed to you. Let us help you fight.
What Defenses Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Use in a Defense Case?
When working with The Law Place, you will get the representation of an attorney who has the necessary knowledge of Florida law to create a strong defense. The experience of our team means that they will be able to apply general defenses, used in both pretrials and trials, that are known for their success rates. Furthermore, your attorney will be able to go further and use defenses that apply specifically to cases like yours, in which the client has been charged with failure to obey a lawful order. For example:
In the State of Florida, a person has every legal right to disobey an order given to them by a law enforcement officer if the instruction was unlawful. In the case that your legal representation opts for this defense, the state has the responsibility to collect evidence to the contrary. However, if your attorney is able to gather enough evidence to prove that you were, in fact, issued an unlawful order, then it is likely that the state will drop your case and all charges with it.
Officer’s Status Unknown
Another defense that your attorney may have the option of using is that you were unaware of the status of the police officer when they issued you with the lawful order. This means that you would not have been provided with some legitimate identification or reason to prove that you were not dealing with an impersonator but instead a recognized police officer. If you have any doubts about the identification of the police officer who charged you for failure to obey a lawful order, then you must contact an attorney as soon as possible. At The Law Place, we will immediately begin to investigate your case in order to understand the circumstances under which your lawful order was given and the status of the person who issued it. If your attorney discovers that the officer in question was, in fact, an imposter, then they will use this as your defense.
The principle of protected speech means that the words you use when given an order by a police officer cannot alone be classified as disobedience. This principle protects those who have only verbally refused an order. A refusal must include obstructive physical contact or violence of some form. So, if your vehicle has been pulled over by a state trooper in Venice, Florida, and you have acted cooperatively, and without violence, then this can be used in your defense when your attorney is building your case. Those who act with disobedience or violence are much easier to convict than a peaceful person.
What Can a Defense Lawyer Do for You?
It goes without saying that the role of your criminal defense attorney is to represent you to the best of their ability. However, the role of your attorney involves many aspects that you may not be aware of. Here are some examples of the services a defense attorney will be able to provide you with:
- They will begin by opening an investigation in order to better understand the circumstances under which you were issued your failure to obey charges. This includes collecting evidence, reviewing facts, interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports, as well as looking for applicable statutes and case precedents.
- They will make sure that you receive counsel as they go through the process of building you a strong defense.
- They will collect evidence by examining witnesses at trials, hearings, and depositions.
- They will take the time to provide compelling arguments in your defense that will be presented to judges and juries.
At The Law Place, we understand that the Florida legal system can be complicated and a daunting prospect. That is why we are here to listen to all of your concerns, queries, and questions. Our job is to listen to our clients and make sure that they understand what is happening every step of the way. Put the stress of your case on the shoulders of one of our experienced attorneys, and let us do the hard work for you. Contact us today for a free consultation and unbiased advice before making any final decisions.
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney
Before making a final decision, it is important to consider more than one law firm, doing thorough research that will allow you to make the best choice for your case. We want you to be confident in the team working on your defense, as the decision you make now could have effects on the rest of your life.
Most law firms in Venice, FL., offer a free consultation service. We recommend that you use this as an opportunity to get plenty of advice on how your case may proceed. However, it is also highly important that you prepare questions beforehand. Here is a list of some important questions to ask in a case consultation:
- What previous experience do you have in dealing with failure to obey lawful order cases?
- How successful were these failure to obey lawful order cases?
- Were your previous failure to obey lawful order clients facing the same charges as me?
- Have you had success in working out plea agreements in Florida?
- In how many jury trials have you worked as a defense attorney in Florida?
- What is your fee?
- How can I pay your fees?
- Can I be provided with references from your previous clients?
The last question is the most important. An attorney who cannot provide references from their previous clients must be treated with caution as this may be due to a lack of experience or unhappy clients. Regardless of the reason, you should make sure that you are hiring a lawyer with enough experience to properly represent you in court.
At The Law Place, we have a team of reputable lawyers that can provide references from numerous clients who have been extremely happy with our work.
How Is The Law Place Different from Other Law Firms in Venice, Florida?
What makes us unique is that our legal team has over 75 years of combined experience in representing the citizens of the State of Florida. We handle our cases as a team so that you can benefit from every bit of this experience. Furthermore, whilst we are highly knowledgeable, our attorneys make sure to continuously learn and update themselves as laws change and cases are tried. We pride ourselves on our adaptability and our ability to grow and progress as a law firm. We have honed our advocacy skills so that our clients have an even stronger chance of having their charges reduced or dropped entirely.
Many of our criminal defense attorneys have been given the highest possible AVVO rating of 10.0, which takes into account factors such as awards, reviews, and the number of years of experience they have. On our website, you will be able to read the many reviews that our clients have written after working with us. These reviews are a testament to our quality of service, for which we are extremely proud.
Contact The Law Place Today to Speak With a Traffic Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one have been accused of a failure to obey the lawful order of a police officer and are facing criminal charges in Venice, FL., then you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you build a strong case. We recommend that you contact a law firm as soon as possible in order to give yourself the best possible chance of having your charges reduced or dropped entirely. The sooner you have a good law firm on your side, the sooner your attorney can begin to build you a strong defense.
At The Law Place, we pride ourselves on our team of skilled attorneys who work together to ensure the best possible representation is provided for every client. In order for a prosecutor to successfully charge you, they will need to prove that you were given an instruction by a law enforcement officer, which you then proceeded to intentionally disobey. Our team has worked on many cases like yours in the past and has numerous defenses which we can apply to your case.
With the help of the right lawyer, you can put these charges behind you and get your life back on track. Call us today for a free consultation where you can get confidential and reliable legal advice before making any final decisions. Our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so that you always have someone to call. Do not let your failure to obey lawful order charges change your life forever. Contact us now at (941) 444-4444.