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West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Assault on a Law-Enforcement Officer

West palm Beach-A woman warning Palm Beach Lakes High School students that “Jesus is coming soon” was arrested and is accused of disorderly conduct, simple assault on a law-enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence.

According to an arrest report, a school district police officer was called to the high school’s guidance office where Camele Sinclair, 37, was “distracting” students.

Sinclair was told to go inside the guidance office, but responded by asking the officer if he believed in God. Despite another request to enter the guidance office, Sinclair refused and again repeated “Jesus is coming soon” when students walked by.

When the officer tried to grab Sinclair’s arm to direct her into the office, she became “irate and combative” and said she wasn’t going anywhere. The report said Sinclair grabbed the sleeve of the officer’s uniform shirt and tried to kick him as she was being handcuffed. Source, full story

Florida Statute. 784.07

Assault or battery of law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical care providers, public transit employees or agents, or other specified officers; reclassification of offenses; minimum sentences.


An assault is an intentional act that causes an apprehension or fear of imminent harmful or offensive contact based on a defendant’s present ability to do so. The defendant must have the apparent ability to commit the assault, even if he or she is not actually capable of causing an injury. An assault is committed even if the contact never occurs.


A defendant must intend to commit assault. Thus, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant intended either to cause the apprehension or fear of contact or to cause the actual contact itself. The plaintiff, however, is not required to show that the defendant had any feelings of ill will or malice towards the plaintiff. The defendant’s intent may also be transferred so that an intent to cause apprehension or contact upon one person actually causes another person to be placed in apprehension.

Examples of acts that constitute an assault include swinging a fist at a person without hitting him or her, holding a loaded or unloaded gun to a person’s head without firing, and throwing an object at one person that causes a nearby person to be placed in apprehension. Examples of acts that do not constitute assault include telling a person that he or she will be harmed at a future date and sneaking up behind a person with a gun to his or her head and walking away before the person is aware that the actor had a gun. Source

Arrests may result for the intended threat of violence or the touching or striking of a police officer while the police officer is engaged in the lawful execution of his or her duties. Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer is generally a first-degree misdemeanor, while Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer (commonly in Florida called a “BOLEO”) is a third-degree felony. Florida’s laws also allow for an enhancement and reclassification of offenses, such as aggravated assault, aggravated battery, or attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, which increases the punishment if the offender is convicted of a violent crime against a law enforcement officer1. Adjudication of guilt cannot be withheld nor can anyone serving a jail or prison sentence in Florida for BOLEO receive any gain time.

Assault 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 one case, our client was arguing with another party outside a horse barn and threw a pitch fork into the ground. The pitch fork ricocheted off the ground and stuck the other party in the leg. Our client was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Our defense argument was that our client never intended to harm the other party. That argument was accepted and the case was thrown out of court.

Other ways to resolve an assault charge without a conviction is to seek cooperation from the victim. In Florida, the victim of every crime has a right to be heard by a judge regarding a sentence. If your lawyer can get the victim to state that they do not want you do go to jail, we may be able to resolve the case favorably.

Being proactive in an assault case can often make the difference between facing felony or misdemeanor charges, or whether any charges are filed at all.

Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at 561.880.4300. Se habla español.

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