Aggravated Assault On a Law Enforcement Officer
Boynton Beach police have arrested two men who they believe rammed a car into a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s cruiser Thursday. Police say they caught Timothy Anderson, 26, of Boynton Beach, as he tried to run from the car. Another man ran from the car into a stranger’s home to hide, police said. Police followed and captured Kashus Davis, 27, of West Palm Beach in the home.
Davis remains in jail this morning facing charges that include aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding authorities, possession of marijuana, cocaine and , burglary to an occupied residence, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.
Assault is generally defined as an attempt to commit battery. Assault on a police officer is assault committed on a peace officer responsible for preserving public order, promoting public safety, and preventing and detecting crime.
Are There Increased Punishments For Assault On A Police Officer?
In general, most states will enhance the fine and jail time punishment for an assault on a police officer. Under some state laws, assault on a police officer will be elevated to aggravated assault. Aggravated assault also comes with a much stiffer penalty than simple assault (source).
State laws will usually differ, but most states require that in order to be considered an assault on a police officer, the officer needs to be in the discharge of his duties and the assaulting person must reasonably be aware that s/he is a police officer.
Are There Defenses To Assault On A Police Officer?
Assault is illegal unless the force is justified. Most jurisdictions have affirmative defenses justifying the use of force. These defenses, however, are generally not available when applied to assaulting a police officer and/or interfering with an arrest. Nonetheless, actions amounting to assault against a police officer may be justified if used in self-defense.
When Is Self-Defense Justified?
Generally, where the arrest is lawful, the person being arrested has no right to resist. If, however, the police officer uses excessive force in the execution of a lawful arrest, then there may be conditions upon which an assault is justified by self-defense. In most states, in order for self-defense to be available the person being arrested must:
- be the one attacked by a police officer,
- have reasonable ground to believe, and in good faith does believe, that his life is in danger, or that s/he will suffer great bodily injury, and
- must only meet the attack with such reasonable force as necessary to save his own life and protect himself from great bodily injury
What If The Arrest Is Unlawful?
Even if the arrest is unwarranted or unlawful, you need to be careful because resisting arrest with force may result in a charge of resisting arrest. In most cases, where there is no fear of death or serious bodily injury, complying with the arresting officers is a safer bet. By complying with the arrest, you can plead your case before a neutral court.
Should I Seek An Criminal Attorney?
Assaulting a police officer is a very serious charge and the issues determining whether or not force was necessary are delicate. Seeking the services of a criminal attorney will assist in making sure that the police did not act improperly in making your arrest and that your force was or was not justified.
West Palm Beach Assault Defense Attorney
In Florida, assault means to put someone in imminent fear of harm, while actually harming someone is called battery. At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A. in West Palm Beach, we represent people on assault and battery charges ranging from fist fights to aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
In criminal law, the state must prove first that you intended to commit the crime and secondly, that you actually committed the crime. Therefore, if you did not intend to commit the crime, you cannot possibly have committed it. Lawyer Andrew Stine is able to get many assault cases thrown out of court because the state could not prove that our client intended to commit the crime.
In Florida criminal law, a motive to hurt another individual is a major factor in the prosecution’s case. If you had no motive to seriously injure another person, the charges can be reduced or dropped. Attorney Andrew Stine has handled many aggravated battery and assault cases. He can often identify the true motive behind the charge, including lying to win a child custody battle or property dispute.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at 561.880.4300. Se habla español.