Assault & Battery on a Police Officer
If you are accused of assault and battery on a police officer, you are facing felony assault charges, which could include mandatory minimum jail time, if convicted.
Courts take charges of assault & battery on a police officer very seriously. But that doesn’t mean that the facts always support a felony level assault charge. Police can be wrong, misinterpret the situation, or overreact to a minor incident, misunderstanding or mistake.
What is Assault & Battery on a Police Officer?
When most people think of a charge of assault on a police officer, they imaging a violent confrontation, resisting arrest, and maybe even someone under the influence of drugs going crazy, and getting violent.
But many situations where someone ends up charged with assaulting a cop are much less dramatic, and more nuanced.
You can be charged with assault on a police offer if:
- You swing your arms to get away from a fight or other situation, and accidentally strike a police officer
- You drive to close to a police officer by the side of the road (assault with a vehicle is also consider assault with a dangerous/deadly weapon)
- Any minor physical contact during the course of an arrest
Sometimes if you are belligerent, angry, drunk, or otherwise just annoy the cop, a minor incident might be charged as a felony assault on an officer.
Cops are people too, and they can get angry, annoyed, frightened, or just make mistakes in a stressful situation.
And being a police officer is inherently a dangerous job, so they are likely to not take kindly to any perceived threat.
And, of course, some criminal perpetrators are violent and dangerous. No one would suggest that most of the time when a criminal charge of assault and battery on a police officer is filed, that it is a mistake, or an overreaction. But it does happen.
When you discuss these charges with your lawyer, and go over them in court with a prosecutor, cooler heads may prevail, and there are often opportunities to get this charge reduced down to a misdemeanor simple assault. If the incident was charged in a heat of the moment, stressful situation, the district attorney may be able to come to an agreement with the officer to get the charges reduced, based on the facts as reported, witness statements, or as part of a plea deal.
No matter how it happened, any felony assault on a police officer charge is a very serious matter to be worked out with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.