While battery on a regular person is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor, battery on these specific groups is charged with a more serious felony. This statute applies not only to law enforcement officers, but extends to most of the workers licensed by the State of Florida.
Proving Guilt for Assault on Law Enforcement Officers
In order to be convicted of this more serious form of battery, the state must prove four things beyond a reasonable doubt;
- The defendant intentionally touched or hurt the victim against their will;
- The victim was at least one of the following:
- A law enforcement officer
- A firefighter
- An emergency care provider
- A traffic accident investigation officer
- A traffic infraction enforcement officer
- A parking enforcement specialist
- A security officer employed at a college
- A federal law enforcement officer
- The defendant knew the person was one of the above; and
- When the defendant committed the battery on the victim, the victim was doing his job.
While at the beach during spring break, Tom and Wyatt, two college freshmen, were drinking alcoholic beverages. Before too long, a police officer approaches them and asks them for their driver’s license. Fearful of being arrested for underage drinking, Tom pushed the officer out of the way and tried to run. After catching him, the officer arrested Tom for battery on a law enforcement officer and also charged him with a MIP (minor in possession).
Maximum Penalty for Assaulting Law Enforcement
Penalties for this crime are dependent on any aggravated factors that were involved:
- Simple Battery on an officer: Third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- Aggravated battery on an officer: First-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment with a 5 year minimum sentence, and up to $15,000 in fines.
- Battery on an officer with a firearm: minimum prison sentence of 3 years
- Battery on an officer with a semiautomatic firearm: minimum imprisonment of eight years.