If you put up a fight while the cops are trying to take you in, you’ll likely get charged – at the very least – with Assault or Battery of law enforcement officers. While threatening or physically attacking anyone can bring charges of Assault and Battery in Florida, there are special Assault and Battery charges if that person is a cop, firefighter, or emergency medical technician.
State law lays out especially tough penalties for attacking a wide range of government workers. Florida Statute 784.07 is titled “Assault or battery of law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical care providers, public transit employees or agents, or other specified officers.”
And when it comes to law-enforcement types, committing battery can be almost anything that can interfere with them doing their jobs. Even just intentionally touching an officer can bring battery charges, which are often brought in cases of Resisting Arrest.
If the person you threatened or laid a hand on is wearing a badge, the charge of Assault goes from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor with a sentence of up to a year in jail. Battery goes from being a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, which can get you five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Aggravated Assault on a law enforcement officer, which involves “use of a deadly weapon without intent to kill,” is a second-degree felony with a mandatory minimum three-year prison term — and the possibility of up to 15 years in prison.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you have been charged with assault or battery of law enforcement officers:
- Do not speak to the police about the incident without an attorney present.
- Do not post anything about the incident on social media.
- Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
In recent years, many law enforcement agencies have implemented the use of body cameras to record interactions between officers and individuals. Body cameras can serve as a useful tool in preventing battery on law enforcement incidents. The presence of a body camera can deter individuals from engaging in physical altercations with officers. Additionally, body camera footage can provide valuable evidence in court when prosecuting individuals for battery on law enforcement charges.
The use of body cameras has also been shown to improve police accountability and transparency. When officers know that their actions are being recorded, they are more likely to follow proper protocols and act appropriately during interactions with individuals. Furthermore, body camera footage can be used to identify instances of police misconduct or excessive use of force, which can help to hold officers accountable for their actions.
An attorney can help you protect your rights and build a strong defense against the charges of battery of law enforcement officers.
Defense of Assault or Battery of Law Enforcement Charges
There are several strong defenses to assault or battery of law enforcement charges in Florida. The charges generally spring from a tense, emotionally-charged incident in which an officer may misread innocent actions or may have behaved improperly himself.
If the officer was inflicting pain during an arrest, for example, a suspect may have reflexively raised a hand. Perhaps the officer was overly aggressive, using excessive force, and the suspect believed he was defending himself. Maybe the touching was innocent, or the suspect didn’t know he was dealing with law enforcement. Or it could be that the officer had no business at the scene and was not engaged in his lawful duties.
There are many ways in which an aggressive criminal defense lawyer can fight assault or battery of law enforcement charges in Florida. As with any case, a criminal defense attorney can make pretrial motions to exclude certain evidence. Or, if the prosecution has a weak case, a good criminal defense lawyer may be able to get the case dismissed altogether.
The important thing is to talk with a lawyer as soon as possible. Naturally, you’ll want the best criminal defense lawyer available. Consider the Orlando Criminal Defense Attorneys at Rivas Law.