When dealing with crimes against law enforcement officers, one of the most serious offenses is
aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.
As you already know, aggravated battery is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Aggravated battery can be defined as touching or striking another by intentionally or knowingly causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement, or by using a deadly weapon.
Aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer is the same offense by statute, the only difference is that the alleged victim is a law enforcement officer. Also, the statutory maximum for this crime is 30 years, elevating the offense to a first-degree felony.
Under Florida law, a "law enforcement officer" is "any person who is elected, appointed, or employed full time by any municipality or the state or any political subdivision thereof; who is vested with authority to bear arms and make arrests; and whose primary responsibility is the prevention and detection of crime or the enforcement of the penal, criminal, traffic, or highway laws of the state. This definition includes all certified supervisory and command personnel whose duties include, in whole or in part, the supervision, training, guidance, and management responsibilities of full-time law enforcement officers, part-time law enforcement officers, or auxiliary law enforcement officers but does not include support personnel employed by the employing agency."
The crime of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer also extends to firefighters and paramedics.
Now - the alleged victim must be a law enforcement officer and they must be carrying out their duties as a law enforcement officer in order for the offender to be charged under this section. Getting into a fight with an off-duty cop whom you do not know is a cop is not a crime against a law enforcement officer. The alleged victim in that case will be treated as a civilian, for legal purposes. But we all know that prosecutors coddle their officer victims, whether or not they were in uniform at the time of the alleged offense.
Aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer carries a statutory 5-year mandatory minimum prison term.
Any crime against a law enforcement officer is tough to resolve because the prosecutors will do just about anything their officer victim wants them to do. If the cop is angry and wants to see the accused serve 30 years in prison, the State will offer the accused 30 years in prison. No joke. When officers are victims, the prosecutors will not negotiate unless given the okay by the cop.
And in cases where the accused was severely beaten by the police, the police union will often side with the officer victim and put pressure on the State to harshly prosecute the accused so that it looks better for the police. Oftentimes, accused people in crimes against law enforcement officer cases are injured far worst than the officer "victim."
If you or a loved one are in need of a criminal defense attorney due to charges of violence against a law enforcement officer,
call me. I serve Miami-Dade and Broward.