Richmond Assault on an Officer Defense 

Assault on an officer is a serious offense in Richmond. Police officers are valued members of the community and as a result, the penalties for assaulting an officer are also serious. If you have been charged with assaulting an officer, contact an attorney who can defend you. A skilled local attorney will have experience building a Richmond assault on an officer defense and will work hard to defend you.

Importance of Intent

When crafting a Richmond assault on an officer defense, the first step is always to look into intent. It is important to understand the intent of the individual being charged with assault and whether the meant to do harm or not.  For example, if there is a drunk individual walking out of a bar who sees a police officer, wraps their arm around the officer, and greets them, that is not an assault because they were not intending to harm the officer even though they touched the officer and this officer may have been on edge for one reason or another or had a reasonable apprehension that harm was coming their way. If the individual doing the touching had no intent to harm, there is no assault. The intent of the individual will always be taken into consideration.

Affirmative Defenses

Defense lawyers will also look at the affirmative defenses. If there was a fight, the will question if the fight was combative or not. An example would be a law enforcement officer in plain clothes fighting a civilian. When a plain-clothed officer is fighting, even if they disclose their identity or they have a badge around their neck, is not acting as an officer does, then it is a mutually combative situation. In that instance, a self-defense argument would be valid. They also look at officers who act outside the scope of their duties. If the officer is doing something they have no business doing and acting outside the scope of their duties, that is going to be a defense.

Also, a person can reasonably resist an unlawful arrest. If a person is charged with assaulting an officer and the officer is arresting them for the wrong reasons or the officer jumps them because they are going to do something illegal, it is an unreasonable arrest or an unlawful arrest. A person can fight the officer to get them off of them if the officer is doing something illegal.

An unlawful arrest can be reasonably resisted. Reasonably resistance means that if the officer is arresting the person unlawfully, then a person could punch them,  kick them, or fight them to get away from an unlawful arrest. They cannot shoot them or murder them because that would be considered unreasonable, but they can use reasonable resistance to an unlawful arrest.


For mitigation, it is going to come down to the individual facts of every particular case. What mitigation does is use a negotiation tactic to explain the client’s action. Even though they may have been illegal, there may be, while not a legal excuse, a realistic and practical excuse that can be used. An example would be intoxication. Intoxication is not a legal defense. A lawyer cannot go into court and say that their client was drunk when they committed the violent, as an excuse.  However, given the situation and scenario, somebody who was intoxicated but did not do anything too egregious can be used in negotiations or mitigations.

Lawyers can also look to, depending on the situation, any kind of physical or mental diagnosis that may have played a role in the ultimate assault. An example would be a family relationship where a mom may have assaulted an officer because he was arresting her child in her home. Anything that can humanize the client is useful, because whenever in court, judges, and juries they look at the client as just the defendant. Lawyers want to humanize their client to the finder of act.

Anything that humanizes the client and creates a bridge between the actions of the client and the person trying to negotiate with or provide mitigation to will be useful to help the judge and jury members understand what the client was going through at the time. Anything that can pull on the heartstrings of the Commonwealth, the judge or the jury could all be used to mitigate an assault case.

Importance of a Lawyer

When facing serious assault on an officer charges, a determined defense lawyer can fight for you. A local assault attorney will have experience building a Richmond assault on an officer defense and can use that knowledge to build your case and use defense strategies best suited to your circumstances. Furthermore, they will understand the weight of these charges and will be willing to dedicate the time and effort that your case needs. If you face assault on an officer charges, contact an assault attorney.

Richmond Assault on an Officer Lawyer