FL2: Resisting illegal arrest without violence not a crime

Where it was clearly shown defendant’s arrest was unlawful because he was told to come out of his house to be arrested, his resisting without violence conviction could not stand. Seiracki v. State, 2022 Fla. App. LEXIS 1040 (Fla. 2d DCA Feb. 16, 2022):

The State also claims that because Seiracki was arrested outside his apartment before he could retreat inside, his arrest does not run afoul of the Fourth Amendment. However, the State’s implication that Seiracki voluntarily exited his apartment before attempting to retreat is inconsistent with Officer Gonzalez’s testimony that once Seiracki opened the door, “we gave him instructions to … exit his residence, to step outside, which he refused. And we ended up grabbing him and bringing him outside.” (Emphasis added.) In circumstances such as these, allowing the police to forcibly remove someone from their home before arresting them as a means of sidestepping the warrant requirement would render the chief safeguard of the Fourth Amendment essentially meaningless.

Because the evidence clearly demonstrates that the officers violated Seiracki’s Fourth Amendment rights by physically removing him from his residence without legal justification, the State failed to establish that the officers were engaged in the lawful execution of a legal duty when Seiracki resisted their efforts to detain him. Accordingly, Seiracki is entitled to a judgment of acquittal on the charge of resisting an officer without violence.

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