We have previously discussed the criminal and civil liability of those posing as doctors. Alcalira Jimenez De Rodriguez, 56, follows a familiar pattern in doing cosmetic surgeries without a license. One of the criminal charges however is concerning.
A man claimed that he was disfigured by Jimenez De Rodriguez in a botched nose job. Vincenzo Zurlo had a second rhinoplasty operation but it still was deformed so he asked for her license and insurance. She allegedly declined and was later arrested.
These cases often involve both criminal and tort cases. In negligence cases, the defendant is often subject to the standard of the profession to determine culpability. Thus, if you hold yourself out as a doctor, you are subject to the standard of a reasonable doctor.
What was striking however was the charge with practicing medicine without a license (which was later elevated to a second-degree felony because of the patient’s disfigurement). She was charged with “resisting arrest without violence.” We have previously discussed that charge which is nebulous and problematic. In this case, the police say that Jimenez De Rodriguez tensed her arm and pulled away when she was being handcuffed.
Here is the provision:
843.02 Resisting officer without violence to his or her person.—Whoever shall resist, obstruct, or oppose any officer as defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8), or (9); 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; or other person legally authorized to execute process in the execution of legal process or in the lawful execution of any legal duty, without offering or doing violence to the person of the officer, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
Resisting or opposing without violence is incredibly vague and allows for prosecutors to stack on additional charges (which add pressure for defendants to accept plea agreements). What constitutes resisting can apparently be as little as tensing an arm or moving as restraints are being applied. That creates a dangerously fluid and subjective basis for criminal charge, even a misdemeanor.