Disobeying a Lawful Order of Police Officer in Florida

The crime of Disobeying a Lawful Order of Police Officer imposes heightened penalties on civilians who disobey lawfully given orders of law enforcement officers.

If accused of Disobeying a Lawful Order of Police, you need to know the:

Definition of Disobeying a Lawful Order of Police Officer

Under Florida Statute 316.072(3), the crime of Disobeying a Lawful Order of Police is committed when a person:

  1. Is operating a vehicle, bicycle, or walking on a public road;
  2. Is given a lawful order or direction by a police officer; and
  3. Willfully fails or refuses to comply with the lawful order or direction. [1]

Police Officer

The term police officer includes a municipal police officer or deputy sheriff or state trooper, a traffic crash investigation officer, a traffic infraction enforcement officer, or any member of the fire department at the scene of a fire, rescue operation, or other emergency.

Penalties for Disobeying a Lawful Order of Police Officer

The crime of Disobeying a Lawful Order of Police is classified as a Second Degree Misdemeanor in Florida.

If convicted of Disobeying a Lawful Order of Police Officer, a judge can impose any combination of the following penalties:

  • Sixty (60) days in jail;
  • Six months of probation; or
  • A $500 fine.

Defenses to Disobeying a Lawful Order of Police Officer

In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the crime of Disobeying a Lawful Order of Police Officer are:

  1. Officer's Status Unknown
  2. Protected Speech; and
  3. Unlawful Order.

Officer's Status Unknown

A person accused of Disobeying a Lawful Order of Police must have had reason to know that the law enforcement officer was legitimately a law enforcement officer and not someone impersonating an officer.

Protected Speech

A person's words alone will rarely, if ever, rise to the level of Disobeying a Lawful Order of Police. Rather the words must usually be accompanied by obstructive physical conduct to support a conviction for Disobeying a Lawful Order of Police. [2]

Unlawful Order

It is legal to disobey an unlawful order. And the burden of demonstrating that the order was lawful falls upon the State.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of Disobeying a Lawful Order of Police Officer in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.

References

  1. Koch v. State, 39 So. 3d 464 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010)
  2. DG v. State, 661 So. 2d 75 (Fla. 2d DCA 1995)