This crime is very similar to a simple assault and battery, the only difference being that the alleged victim is a police officer. Most often, this charge is filed by the District Attorney’s Office as the result of some sort of physical altercation between a person and an on-duty police officer. Unfortunately, it frequently turns into a situation where it’s the officer’s word against the word of the citizen being
To be convicted of a battery against a police officer, the prosecutor must prove that a person willfully touched an officer in a harmful or offensive manner, and was not acting in self-defense. The prosecutor also must prove that the person knew, or reasonably should have known, that the victim was a police officer engaged in the performance of their duties. There is no requirement that the officer suffer any injury or pain as a result of the touching. Any touching is enough, so long as it’s done in a harmful or offensive manner.
Proving an assault on a police officer is even easier for the prosecution. The prosecutor basically just has to prove that the person did some act that would likely result in the application of force to the officer. Usually, this simply involves taking a swing, even if there is no contact made. The battery component is charged if actual contact is made. Thus, if you swing and miss, it’s just an assault. If you make contact, it’s an assault and a battery.
These types of charges can be filed as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the injury inflicted. If convicted, the sentencing possibilities vary dramatically, ranging from up to a year in custody in county jail, or several years in state prison. If weapons are involved, or great bodily injury is inflicted, then different or enhanced charges could be filed, and an enhanced sentencing scheme may also apply.
Contact Errol L. Cook, to discuss your particular case. Errol L. Cook has years of experience handling these types of cases, and will be able to advise you of your rights, options, and how to properly proceed with your case.