Hampton Roads Assault on an Officer Lawyer

Assault and battery of a police officer is a sub-section of assault charges. If someone commits assault and battery against a law enforcement officer, judge, or correctional officer it is a felony offense. Most assault offenses are charged as misdemeanors, however, assaulting an officer raises the level to a felony. If you are facing assaulting an officer charges, reach out to a seasoned assault attorney right away. A Hampton Roads assault on an officer lawyer could help you build a defense and offer you advice on your legal options.

Common Factors in Assaulting an Officer Cases

Most of the time, these types of cases happen when there was an intoxicated person being arrested and during the arrest, they make contact with an officer by shoving them. It is rare to see a person get into a fight with police officers or first responders. Most assaults on officer are when people make bad decisions after getting intoxicated. Whether it is one of the common factors behind the charge or it was not, a Hampton Roads assault on an officer lawyer could still build a capable defense for the individual.

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Felony Charges

As mentioned above, assault on an officer is more serious than a regular assault charge. This is why it is considered a felony and not a misdemeanor. Assaulting an officer carries a mandatory period of incarceration that is not included in most assault cases. An individual charged with assaulting an officer is facing a Class 6 felony, which carries up to five years in prison along with a mandatory minimum of six months in jail. With these cases, prosecutors have to take into account that they work with these officers on a regular basis so they are more hesitant to make does on this charge without the approval from the police officer.

When a Person is Unaware they Assaulted an Officer

The statute of assaulting an officer applies when the person is aware that they are assaulting a law enforcement officer. This means that if the other party is an off-duty officer and makes no effort to identify themselves as an officer, then the defendant would not be charged with assaulting an officer. However, if the police officer was working security at a nightclub and trying to maintain order when a fight broke out and a person assaulted them, then it can be considered as assaulting an officer.

Prosecutor’s Burden of Proof

In these cases, the prosecutors have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was an assault or assault and battery on an officer. This means that pursuant to Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-57, they must prove that there was some sort of unwanted physical contact or a threat of unwanted physical contact and that it was against an officer or first responder. Also, the prosecution must prove that the defendant should have recognized that the person they assaulted was, in fact, a law enforcement officer or first responder. A Hampton Roads assault on an officer lawyer is experienced building a defense to argue against the prosecutor’s case.

Police Body Cameras Impact on Assault Cases

Body cameras provide an unvarnished look at what happened. There are often discrepancies about how people behaved and the level of contact. However, body cameras can often depict how someone behaved and the level of contact. In some cases, it can be difficult to see the physical assault on the officer based on the view of the body camera. That being said, criminal defense attorneys believe that body cameras can be very useful with these types of cases.

Contacting a Hampton Roads Assualt on an Officer Attorney

In assaulting an officer case, the defendant has the same defenses that exist for other assault cases. Either there was a threat of contact or there was contact directed toward an officer or there was not. Also, the defense may be able to argue that the defendant had no knowledge that the other person was a law enforcement officer. If you are facing charges, it is essential that you contact a Hampton Roads assault on an officer lawyer. A skilled attorney will be able to look into all facts of the case to determine which type of defense could be applicable.