Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer Defense Attorney in Tampa, FL
Florida prosecutors and police vigorously pursue charges against people accused of behaving violently toward law enforcement officers. These charges can lead to substantial jail or prison time. It is imperative if you have been charged with battery on a law enforcement officer that you secure experienced legal representation before making any decisions regarding your case.
If you or a loved one are facing battery on a law enforcement officer charges in the Tampa, FL, area, call Armando Edmiston, an experienced Tampa battery on a law enforcement officer criminal defense lawyer, today.
Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer: Defined in Tampa, FL
Battery in Florida is defined as intentionally touching or striking another person against that person’s will or intentionally causing the person bodily harm. This is known as simple battery, the most basic type of battery on the books. Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in jail. A more serious kind of battery, known as aggravated battery, is defined as intentionally or knowingly causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement during an act of battery, or committing battery with a deadly weapon. Aggravated battery is a second-degree felony punishable with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 21 months. Enhanced penalties apply to batteries committed against certain law enforcement officers and other officials while on duty. These include police officers and employees, corrections officers, firefighters, traffic and parking officers, emergency medical providers, public transit employees, and security guards. Battery on a law enforcement officer while the officer is performing her legal duties is a third-degree felony punishable by as many as five years. Aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer is a first-degree felony that carries a maximum sentence of 30 years and a mandatory minimum sentence of five.
Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer: Assault in Tampa, FL
Closely related to battery on a law enforcement officer is the charge of assault on a law enforcement officer. It is assault on a law enforcement officer to intentionally threaten violence against him if it appears reasonably likely you could carry out the threat. But you must do more than threaten: You must do something that creates a well-founded fear in the officer that you will use violence imminently. A cocked fist during an arrest, for example, may be enough to bring assault charges. Assault on a law enforcement officer is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by as much as one year in jail. A more serious version of this offense, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, involves assault on an officer using a deadly weapon or in furtherance of another felony (in an attempt to rob the officer, for example). Aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer is a second-degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years and a mandatory minimum of three.
Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer: Defenses in Tampa, FL
If the force used by a defendant was in response to excessive force by a law enforcement officer, a self defense argument may be available. It is also a defense to battery on a law enforcement officer that a defendant did not know, and did not have reason to know, an officer was an officer. Another line of defense may argue that the officer in question was not performing a legal duty at the time of the resistance. This may happen, for example, with a police officer working off-duty as a bouncer.