There are a number of serious crimes against law enforcement officers that
are felony-level offenses.
Some of those offenses include battery on a law enforcement officer and
aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
However, assault on a law enforcement officer is a misdemeanor. Specifically,
the offense is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail.
Simple assault (not on a law enforcement officer) is a second-degree misdemeanor.
You can see that due to the increased penalties, the law considers a crime
against a law enforcement officer to be more egregious than a crime against
an oridinary citizen.
If you recall from earlier posts, assault is simply a threat by word or
act to do violence to another with the present apparent ability to carry
out the threat.
In layman's terms, assault is a credible threat of violence with the
appearance, in the mind of the alleged victim, that the perpetrator is
capable of instantly carrying out the threat.
In order for the State to prove this charge, it is essential that the State
get inside the mind of the alleged victim. The State must prove beyond
a reasonable doubt that the alleged victim was threatened in such a manner,
and that the alleged victim believed that the perpetrator was going to
carry out the threat.
An assault on a law enforcement officer is simply that: a threat to do
violence against a police officer with the police officer believing that
the threat of violence is real and imminent.
, I can tell you that prosecutors like cases where police officers are
the victims because prosecutors suffer from the belief that police make
better witnesses than ordinary citizens.
This is not true.
Many of us have had negative encounters with law enforcement. Whether it
was an arrest or a traffic ticket, we have all felt the wrath of the law
to some degree. And we carry that resentment around. It may even shape
our opinions about law enforcement.
While the men and women who serve our communities as police officers are
brave and do deserve great respect, there are the "bad apples"
in the bunch that give the rest of the police bad reputations. Inherent
in a cop's testimony is the idea that they may be lying in order to
cover up some bad behavior of their own.
But nevertheless, assault on a law enforcement officer is taken seriously.
While only a
, prosecutors give law enforcement victims great influence in deciding
what sort of penalty the accused shall receive. Even if you are a first-time
offender who should probably receive
, if the police officer victim tells the prosecutor that he or she wants
to see you go to jail, you better believe that the State will be seeking
a jail sentence. Is it fair? No. But it's the way things are.
If you are charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, you need a
Miami-Dade County criminal defense attorney who can exploit the weaknesses in the State's case and help you to
get the best outcome.
Remember - words alone do not constitute assault. If a suspect is handcuffed
in the back of the car and tells a cop, "I'm gonna beat you up,"
it is not an assault because there is no way that the subject can carry
out the threat. Now if somebody is standing an inch away from a cop's
face, raises a fist and tells them, "I'm gonna beat you up."
that would be an assault because the subject
could carry out the threat. See the difference?
The law is full of nuances. A good criminal lawyer is trained to recognize
these details and exploit them to the benefit of the client. I seek to
do that in every case I handle.
If you are in need of a criminal defense attorney in the Miami-Dade or
call me today