Assault or Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer

Assault or Battery (or Aggravated Assaut or Battery) of a Law Enforcement Officer, Firefighter, Emergency Medical Care Provider, Public Transit Employee or Agent, or Other Specified Officer in Florida

Assault or Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer is charged whenever the alleged victim of the crime of Assault or Battery is a law enforcement or other specified officer of the State of Florida who is engaged in the lawful performance of their duties. This includes the crimes of Aggravated Assault or Aggravated Battery where the victim is a law enforcement officer or listed victim.

Being charged with Assault or Battery where the alleged victim is a Law Enforcement Officer or one of the other listed people is a very serious charge. Whether facing charges in Broward, Miami-Dade, or West Palm Beach County, one should take the charges of Assault or Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer very seriously. Our Criminal Defense Attorneys have experience dealing with these charges and are ready to assist you or a love one.

Definition of Assault or Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer in Florida

Assault or Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer, as defined by § 784.07, Florida Statutes, involves the criminal act defined as Assault or Battery with the additional condition that the victim is a law enforcement or other official public officer engaged in the lawful performance of their duties.

Aggravated Assault or Aggravated Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer, as defined by § 784.07, Florida Statutes, involves the criminal act defined as Aggravated Assault or Aggravated Battery with the additional condition that the victim is a law enforcement or other official public officer engaged in the lawful performance of their duties.

An official public officer includes, but is not limited, to law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical care providers, public transit employees or agents, or other specified officers of the State of Florida.

To prove any form of Assault or Battery on Law Enforcement Officer: The State’s attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt all elements of the underlying crime (i.e. Assault, Battery, Aggravated Assault, or Aggravated Battery). In addition, the State’s attorney also must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following three (3) of elements of the crime:

(1) The victim was a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical care provider, public transit employee or agent, or other official public officer of the State of Florida

(2) The defendant knew the victim was a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical care provider, public transit employee or agent, or other official public officer of the State of Florida

(3) The victim was engaged in the lawful performance of their official duties at the time the crime occurred

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

Whenever a person is charged with knowingly committing an Assault or Battery, or Aggravated Assault or Aggravated Battery, upon an officer of the state engaged in the lawful performance of their duties, the offense is reclassified to the next higher degree:

(1) Assault of a Law Enforcement Officer is a misdemeanor of the first degree punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 as provided in §. 775.082 and § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

(2) Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer is a felony of the third degree punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 as provided in §. 775.082 and § 775.083, Florida Statutes:

(a) Conviction of a Battery using a “firearm” or “destructive device” is punishable by no less than a minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years

(b) Conviction of a Battery using a semiautomatic firearm or a machine gun is punishable by no less than a minimum term of imprisonment of 8 years

(3) Aggravated Assault of a Law Enforcement Officer is a felony of the second degree punishable by a minimum of 3 years and up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000, as provided in §. 775.082 and § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

(4) Aggravated Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer is a felony of the first degree punishable by a minimum of 5 years and up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, as provided in §. 775.082 and § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

Note: Any defendant previously convicted of any combination of two or more felonies in Florida who is subsequently convicted of another felony is subject to enhanced penalties or a mandatory minimum prison term as provided in § 775.084.

Defenses to Assault or Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer in Florida

Assault, or Battery, is violent crime and a serious criminal offense. Under Florida law, the defense for an Assault, or Battery, depends on the specific circumstances, and may include:

(1) The law enforcement officer was not engaged in a legal duty, which is surprisingly more common than one might think.

(2) Self Defense or Defense of Other(s) from an immediate attack

(3) Both parties involved in the altercation are officers of the State

(4) False accusation or misidentification

(5) Circumstances would have prevented carrying out the alleged assault, such as a great distance or physical barriers

(6) The defendant’s actions were purely accidental with no intention to cause bodily harm

Examples of Assault or Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer in Florida

(1) Swinging a fist in anger while verbally threatening an officer of the State who is engaged in performing his or her duties (Assault)

(2) Deliberately moving menacingly toward an officer of the State who is engaged in performing his or her duties (Assault)

(3) Physically attacking an officer of the State who is engaged in performing his or her duties (Battery)

(4) Intentionally striking, or slapping, or kicking an officer of the State who is engaged in performing his or her duties (Battery)

(5) Intentionally grabbing a purse or cell phone held by an officer of the State who is engaged in performing his or her duties (Battery)

(6) Threatening to strike an officer of the State who is engaged in performing his or her duties with a weapon (Aggravated Assault)

(7) Seriously wounding an officer of the State who is engaged in performing his or her duties using any object that can cause bodily harm (Aggravated Battery)

CONTACT US

If you have been charged with the crime of Assault or Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer in Broward, Palm Beach, or Miami-Dade County, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney right away to ensure your rights are protected. The Law Office of Sean Clayton, P.A., can help you better understand your situation and your options. Contact us today for your free consultation.