Assault And Battery On A Police Officer
Assault is generally defined as an attempt to commit battery. Assault on a police officer is assault committed on a peace officer responsible for perserving public order, promoting public safety, and preventing and detecting crime.
When most people think of a charge of assault on a police officer, they imaging a violent confrontation, resisting arrest, and maybe even someone under the influence of drugs going crazy, and getting violent.
But many situations where someone ends up charged with assaulting a cop are much less dramatic, and more nuanced.
You can be charged with assault on a police offer if (source):
- You swing your arms to get away from a fight or other situation, and accidentally strike a police officer
- You drive to close to a police officer by the side of the road (assault with a vehicle is also consider assault with a dangerous/deadly weapon)
- Any minor physical contact during the course of an arrest
Sometimes if you are belligerent, angry, drunk, or otherwise just annoy the cop, a minor incident might be charged as a felony assault on an officer.
If you are accused of assault and battery on a police officer, you are facing felony assault charges, which could include mandatory minimum jail time, if convicted.
Courts take charges of assault & battery on a police officer very seriously. But that doesn’t mean that the facts always support a felony level assault charge. Police can be wrong, misinterpret the situation, or overreact to a minor incident, misunderstanding or mistake.
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 (source).
FDLE expands Blue Alert program meant to find suspects in assaults on officers (source, full story).
When an off duty Miami Dade Police officer was shot in a robbery in September, law enforcement officers called on the public to help track down the three suspects.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a Blue Alert.
The alert mimics that of the Amber Alert, which is used to help locate missing children, and Silver Alert, which is used to locate missing people who have dementia or Alzheimers.
It notifies nearby residents when a police officer is injured, shot or missing and provides suspect information to help the public aid in the search.
West Palm Beach Aggravated Battery Defense Attorney
At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., in West Palm Beach, Florida, we represent people charged with aggravated battery and assault. Circumstances leading to this charge include assault or battery involving:
- Victims over the age 64
- Victims under the age of 18
- Severe injuries, such as broken bones, serious scars, or disfigurement
If you were charged with aggravated battery, it is important to contact a lawyer that understands the seriousness of the charge and knows how to defend against it. At Andrew D. Stine, P.A., we have extensive experience representing people charged with aggravated assault and battery. Our defense team reviews the evidence and conducts private investigations in order to find holes in the prosecution’s case.
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.