If you get into a tussle with a law enforcement officer in Florida, you could face serious penalties. Under Florida Statute Section 784.07, you can be charged with battery on a law enforcement officer if:
- You intentionally touch or strike the officer against their will or cause bodily harm.
- You know that the victim is a law enforcement officer.
- The law enforcement officer was legally performing their duties at the time of the battery.
That might seem straight forward enough to be encapsulated in a simple rule: don’t touch police officers. However, it is important to note that uniformed police officers are not the only people who are protected by the statute.
Defining ‘Law Enforcement Officer’ Broadly
For the purposes of the law, “law enforcement officer” may include:
- Ordinary police and correctional officers—whether full- or part-time
- Auxiliary law enforcement and correctional officers
- Traffic and parking enforcement officers
- Probation officers and Department of Corrections employees who supervise or provide services to inmates
- Federal law enforcement officers
- Officers of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Law enforcement explorers
Additionally, the same protections are extended to other public officials and servants including emergency medical care providers, firefighters, public transit employees, and security staff on college campuses.
If You’ve Been Charged, You Need a Lawyer
The penalties for battery on a law enforcement officer can be severe. The offense is punishable by up to five years in prison or on probation and a $5,000 fine. If the defendant is convicted of aggravated battery, the minimum sentence is five years and can be as long as 30 years in prison.
Obviously, you do not what to face this serious charge on your own. Hiring an experienced attorney is your best option. Your attorney will fully investigate the circumstances of your arrest in order to determine the best possible defense for your situation.
Our Attorneys Will Provide a Vigorous Defense
The attorneys of Flaherty & Merrifield Criminal Defense have the experience and expertise you want on your side after an arrest. If you have been charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, contact us immediately for a free consultation—and put us to work for you.