I have discussed crimes against law enforcement officers before. Those are offenses that State Attorneys' Offices take very seriously. That's because there is a very close relationship between the police and the prosecutors. In other words, the prosecutors will "take care of their own" when it comes to officer victims.
A crime against a law enforcement officer (LEO) can be as simple as resisting an officer without violence. The problem with officer victim cases is that the officer victim often has total control over the plea discussions in the case. If you are a first-time offender charged with resisting an officer without violence, and for whatever reason, the officer victim feels vindictive, he or she may put pressure on the State Attorney regarding a particular disposition. In other words, if the officer wants to see jail time, the prosecutor may seek jail time, even though you have no prior record.
But that is beside the point. That is minor in comparison to violent crimes against LEOs. If you are charged with a violent crime against a LEO, be prepared to face serious charges and serious prison time.
Florida law states that "the legislature does hereby provide for an increase and certainty of penalty for any person convicted of a violent offense against any law enforcement or correctional officer..."
No matter the crime, it is always considered more serious when committed against a law enforcement officer, as opposed to an ordinary citizen.
For first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, if the death sentence is not imposed, a sentence of imprisonment for life without eligibility for release will be imposed. A life sentence can be imposed for second-degree murder of a law enforcement officer as well.
For attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, a maximum life term can be imposed.
For attempted second-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, a 30 year prison term may be imposed.
For aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, a maximum 30 year term with a mandatory minimum 5 year term.
For aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, a maximum 15 year term with a 3 year mandatory minimum term.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward. Call to discuss your case.