How serious is battery on a law enforcement officer?
Battery on a law enforcement officer is a very serious felony. It’s a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to five years in state prison, fines, and cost. The interesting thing about battery on a law enforcement officer is it doesn’t have to be an officer – it doesn’t have to be a cop. It can be an EMT, a firefighter, or anybody that’s working in that protected service taking care of the public.
In order for the state to prove battery on a law enforcement officer, they have to show that you struck somebody, that that person was a law enforcement officer or some other protected person, and that you knew or should have known that it was that protected person working in their official capacity.
So what does that mean? That means that a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, or an EMT doing their job, the job that they’re hired to do to protect the public. If you knew that they were doing the job or you should have known that they were doing the job, the states prove that element. These cases are pretty difficult because the law wants to protect the people that protect us.
These cases are pretty difficult to defend. It takes a lot of creativity. One way that we orchestrate some creativity in the case is to look at the facts. Look at the elements. “You struck someone.” Did you actually strike somebody, was it somebody that was protected, and did you have knowledge that they were a protected person? So in the case of an off-duty officer, or something to that effect, you may not have known that it was an officer performing their official duties.
Another way we look at it is through deposition. Depositions are questions that are done outside of court that can be used to assist us with our case. So, in a case for battery against a law enforcement officer, we would wait for a little bit of time to go by, let some emotions calm down a little bit, and talk to the officer. It’s possible that the officer has no ill feelings towards you and doesn’t want to see you convicted. In some cases, we’ve even had clients write letters of apology to the officer and that’s all that it took.
It’s important to get these cases right. These cases require expertise and some finesse because the judge is not allowed to withhold adjudication or defer sentencing. That means that if you are found to have committed battery on a law enforcement officer, it will result in a conviction. If you’ve been charged or arrested with battery on a law enforcement officer, contact Flaherty Defense Firm today.