Virginia has a charge for assaulting a police officer, which is a separate felony offense under the same statute as assault and battery. When someone may face assaulting an officer charge if they assault a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or any person who was in their official capacity at the time they were assaulted. If you are facing accusations of attacking a law enforcement officer, reach out to a dedicated Fairfax assault on an officer lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced assault attorney could advocate on your behalf.
Often, an individual may commit an assault an officer offense when they are in the process of being arrested for another crime. The person may be a little intoxicated and then lash out at the officer or cause a struggle during the arrest process. In the process of the struggling, the individual may strike the officer. In this scenario, they will almost always be charged with assaulting a police officer. Intoxicated people might not even realize they are committing an assault offense.
A lesser-known example of assaulting an officer is when someone spits at an officer. Even if they did not hit the officer, the act is still considered assault.
Compared to general assault charges in Fairfax, assaulting an officer is an extremely serious offense. Instead of a misdemeanor charge, the individual is facing a Class 6 felony. If convicted, the defendant faces a minimum of six months in jail. Therefore, it is essential for accused individuals to contact a Fairfax assault on an officer lawyer immediately.
Assault against an officer charges seldom go to trial. The reason is that the stakes are incredibly high. If the defendant is found guilty, they automatically face six months in jail and it is difficult to appeal the case. This means that an individual only gets one shot at their defense.
Alternatively, prosecutors usually amend the charge and offer some type of deal to a different kind of offense that does not carry a mandatory minimum of six months. Given the potential penalties for assaulting a police officer, defendants should consult a Fairfax attorney immediately.
If the assault and battery were committed on an officer outside the scope of their position, the issue turns on whether the officer was engaged in the performance of their public duties anywhere in the Commonwealth. Their public duties can include keeping the peace, even if they are off-duty. In such a scenario, the defendant could still be charged and convicted of assault and battery of a police officer.
Speaking with a Fairfax assault on an officer lawyer could be crucial for accused individuals. An assault on a law enforcement officer is taken very seriously by Virginia Courts, and prosecutors may attempt to throw the book at defendants. A well-practiced attorney could review your case and gather evidence to present in court on your behalf. Begin your defense case by calling today.