Fairfax Assault on an Officer Cases

Fairfax assault on an officer cases are taken very seriously by authorities and defendants may find themselves facing harsh and long-lasting penalties upon a conviction. These cases are tried differently than other assault cases and accused individuals may require the assistance of an experienced assault on an officer attorney when building their legal defense. Consult a skilled lawyer today and learn your rights.

What Prosecutors Must Prove in an Assault on a Police Officer Case

In Fairfax assault on an officer case, the prosecutors must prove that:

  • An assault and battery occurred
  • The individual that was assaulted was a police officer
  • The officer was acting within the scope of their duties inside the Commonwealth of Virginia at the time of the incident, not necessarily just as a police officer
  • The defendant knew or should have known the person they were assaulting was an officer

In a criminal case, the charge of assaulting an officer in Fairfax covers magistrates, firefighters, other types of peacekeeping individuals, and more. If someone is a police officer dressed in regular clothes, does not announce themselves as a police officer, and is not engaged within the scope of their duties, the defendant will not be convicted of assault against a police officer.

How Police Body Cameras Impact an Assault Case

Depending on the facts, a person charged with assault and battery on an officer is more likely to plead guilty if the officer was wearing a body camera. The camera shows exactly what the officer is doing. While individuals often remember the officer being more aggressive or unreasonable than they actually were or may remember the officers pushing them first, the body cameras might show the opposite.

Alternatively, the body cameras may exonerate defendants if it shows that there was no touching or that the officer did not identify themselves. Since body cameras are a way to hold everyone accountable for what actually happened in a situation, they have been useful for and against the prosecution.

Defenses or Mitigating Factors Available

For cases involving assaulting an officer, Fairfax attorneys might claim that the person had a mental impairment or mental illness. A lawyer may try to claim that the condition led the person:

  • To not be in control of their faculties
  • Not have any idea of what they were doing
  • Unable to recognize the officer as someone engaged in law enforcement activity within the scope of their public duties

This defense stratgey could be successful for people who have a diagnosed mental illness. Another defense that can work is that there was no actual touching or there was no intention to touch and that it was accidental.

Differences Between Fairfax Assault on an Officer Cases to Other Criminal Cases

Cases of assault on an officer are treated differently than other assault and battery cases. Fairfax assault on an officer cases are considered felonies instead of misdemeanors. While one does not have a trial in a general district court, they do have the choice between a trial in front of a judge or in front of a jury. In certain cases, a trial in front of a jury makes more sense since a jury may think it is more or less reasonable to be lashing out in a particular situation or they may be able to justify it in a way that the judge would not. Under the law, this offense is technically still considered assault and battery. In those types of situations and given that it is a much more serious penalty, it is treated differently since people less often want to go to trial and more often want to take a plea deal either to avoid that felony or avoid the mandatory minimum six months in jail.

Get Help From an Accomplished Attorney in Fairfax Assault on an Officer Cases

With the guidance of a well-practiced attorney who has handled Fairfax assault on an officer cases, a defendant could understand how the prosecution may charge them and what evidence could be used against them. A seasoned attorney could prepare a defense strategy on behalf of the accused while keeping in mind the unique nature of these cases. Call today and let a hard working attorney champion your defense.

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