DC was charged with Battery on Law Enforcement after an altercation outside a bar in Destin. She had never been in any trouble with the law before, so needless to say, she was terrified. She also had a lot to lose. She was the manager of a retail store at the Sandestin Outlet Mall, and she knew that a felony conviction would destroy her career.
I was able to get the security tapes from the incident. I also tracked down all of the witnesses that were present, including several that the state wasn’t even aware of. All of them gave conflicting accounts about what happened, but there was one thing they were consistent on. It was not clear at all that the alleged victim in the case was a law enforcement officer.
Battery on Law Enforcement Charge Requires Defendant's Knowledge
In Battery on Law Enforcement prosecutions, the state must be able to prove that the defendant knew that the alleged victim was law enforcement. Usually, this is easily proven if the person is wearing a uniform, displays a badge, clearly identifies themselves as a police officer, or is driving a marked police vehicle. None of those factors applied here.
I outlined all of this to the prosecutor at a court hearing and I set the case for trial. The prosecutor offered my client a reduced charge to a misdemeanor. No conviction on her record, no jail time. Just a fine and some community service. While I was confident we could win at trial, my client knew she was facing five years in prison if the jury convicted her, so she decided to take the sure thing and accept the misdemeanor plea.
If you have been charged with Battery on Law Enforcement in Destin, Flaherty & Merrifield can help. Call us anytime, day or night, at (850) 460-7470.