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Aggravated Battery On a Law Enforcement Officer

iStock_000000617579Small-150x150Deandre Newton of Boynton Beach is facing multiple charges including aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.  According to Boynton Beach Police Department arrest report, Mr. Newton is accused of leading police officers on a chase, crashing into police patrol car and fighting with officers.

“After hitting the officer’s patrol car, Newton hit the gas and drove south onto the Interstate, swerving through traffic and speeding with several officers in pursuit”, the report stated. The Camry exited at Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach and Newton jumped out in the 800 block of Southwest Third Court, leaving the car in drive”

At the crime scene, police discovered a 7th month old baby.

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Florida Violent Crime Violations

Assault/Battery: Fla. Stat. §§ 784.03 & 784.011 – Assault and battery are two separate offenses in Florida that are often confused. Assault is defined as an intentional, unlawful threat through word or action to a person along with the offender’s apparently ability to follow through that creates a reasonable fear in that person that violence will occur. Battery is when the offender actually and intentionally strikes a person against his or her own will, or otherwise intentionally causes harm to a person.

Aggravated Assault/Battery: Fla. Stat. §§ 784.021 & 784.045 – Aggravated assault, better known as assault with a deadly weapon, is assault committed with a weapon like a gun or knife without the intent to kill or with the intent to commit a felony. Aggravated battery is battery committed with a deadly weapon or when the offender intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. It is also aggravated battery to commit battery on a person the offender knows or should know is pregnant.

Elements of Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer under Florida Law

At trial, the prosecuting attorney with the State Attorney’s Office in Florida must provide the following elements beyond all reasonable doubt:

1. The person who allegedly committed the assault intentionally and unlawfully threatened, either by word or act, to do violence to the alleged victim.

2. At the time of the act, the person accused of assault appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat.

3. The act carried out by the person accused of assault created a well-founded fear in the victim that violence was about to take place.

4. The alleged victim was at the time a law enforcement officer (LEO), federal law enforcement officer, emergency medical care provider, traffic infraction enforcement officer, security officer employed by the board of trustees of a community college, firefighter, traffic accident investigation officer or a parking enforcement specialist.

5. The person accused of assault knew the alleged victim was an employee of one of the protective classes discussed above.

6. At the time of the assault, the alleged victim was engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties.

Are There Any Defenses in Battery Cases Against Law Enforcement Officer?

The most common defense available to a person who has committed a battery against a police officer is self-defense. Self-defense may be justified only when the defendant:

  • was attacked first by the police officer
  • believes in good faith, according to a “reasonable person” standard, that their life is threatened or will suffer great bodily harm
  • responds only with an amount of force that is reasonably necessary to save their life or be protected from great bodily harm

Penalties for Assault or Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer in Florida

Under Florida Statute § 784.07, it is unlawful for a person to commit assault or battery against a law enforcement officer. If convicted, the following punishments follow each crime accordingly:

Assault Involving Law Enforcement Officer

2nd degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in prison and $500 in fines; or

1st degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in prison and $1,000 in fines.

Battery Involving Law Enforcement Officer

1st degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in Florida State prison and a fine up to $1,000; or

3rd degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.

Aggravated Assault Involving Law Enforcement Officer (minimum 3 year imprisonment)

3rd degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in a Florida State prison and a fine of up to $5,000; or

2nd degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in a Florida State prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Aggravated Battery Involving Law Enforcement Officer (minimum 5 year imprisonment)

2nd degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines; or

1st degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in a Florida State prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Andrew D. Stine, P.A. -Violent Crime Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County

If you have been arrested and charged on a violent crime like assault, battery, or robbery anywhere in Palm Beach County, including West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, and Tequesta, contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. as soon as possible after your arrest.

Andrew Stine can immediately begin consulting with you on your violent crime case and build a detailed defense based on his 10 years of criminal defense experience that aims to achieve the favorable outcome you agree is best. Your first consultation with Andrew D. Stine, P.A. is free, so call 561.880.4300 today and schedule yours.

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