Chesterfield Assault on an Officer Lawyer

An assault on a law enforcement officer charge is a normal assault charge enhanced by the fact that the victim is an officer. The “officer” in an assault on law enforcement officer charge includes, but is not limited to; judges, law enforcement officers, police, deputies, firefighters, medical personnel, nurses, and EMTs. Additionally, anyone who responds to an emergency in a medical situation can fall into the “officer” category.

Assault on an officer charges commonly result in situations where police officers are engaging with an individual who is under the influence of alcohol or some other kind of drug. The individual may not know what is going on and they aggressively resist arrest, which may escalate, and leads to the felony charge. It is important that you contact a Chesterfield County assault lawyer if you have been charged with assaulting an officer.

Elements of Assault on an Officer

In an assault of an officer charge, the prosecution needs to prove that the defendant intended to batter or did batter someone in the enumerated class. The prosecution also needs to prove that the defendant knew, or should have known that the person they were assaulting was a member of the enumerated class.

Prosecutorial Evidence

For the charge of assault on an officer in Chesterfield, prosecutors use:

  • Testimony
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Witnesses
  • Doctor’s reports
  • Hospital reports

Before the use of police body cameras, the testimony of police officers was assumed to be truth. An actual injury or wounding of the officer was not needed to prove an assault. Everyone had to believe the police officer’s testimony and hope that the police officer was not lying. Now, with police body cameras, there is video evidence of what actually happened during the incident. An experienced Chesterfield assault on an officer lawyer knows this, and will work to ensure that all evidence that helps their client will be used.

Differences from Normal Assault

A normal assault charge, that is a charge for assault on a lay person, is not a felony. It is a Class one misdemeanor where there is the possible penalty of 12 months in jail. Assaulting a law enforcement officer is a class six felony due to the severity of the charge. The possible penalty for a class six felony is five years of incarceration. Also, there is a mandatory minimum of six months incarceration for assaulting a law enforcement officer.

Penalties in Chesterfield

In Chesterfield, Virginia, assault on an officer is a felony charge. The possible penalties for assault on an officer charge are zero to five years in jail with a $2,500.00 fine and a six-month mandatory minimum jail sentence and probation.

The possible penalty is much more severe for someone charged with assault of an officer compared to assault of a lay person. Often, when charged with a lesser offense you may be able to negotiate a less severe penalty. However, if convicted of assault of an officer, the penalty is at least six months of incarceration. Therefore, negotiations are limited, and an acquittal is preferred, which a Chesterfield assault on an officer lawyer can help with.

Defenses in Assault of an Officer Cases

Defense in these types of cases include but are not limited to; self-defense, lack of criminal intent, and lacking the requisite knowledge that the victim is an officer or member of the protected class. If you have been charged with assaulting an officer, you should contact a Chesterfield assault on an officer attorney to help you develop a strong defense.