DC Assault on an Officer Lawyer

An assault on an officer offense is a severe charge that can lead to imprisonment. The District of Columbia protects law enforcement officers from being assaulted when they are on duty, especially if they are in uniform. Assault on a police officer is a separate crime from an assault on a citizen and carries more significant penalties.

Assault of an officer could be charged when there is a struggle at the time an arrest is being made. The charge might be resisting arrest, but when an officer is punched, kicked, or worse when trying to make the arrest, assault on an officer charges are likely to be brought.

If you are facing charges, reach out to an accomplished DC assault on an officer lawyer today. A dedicated assault attorney could protect your rights and help you build a strong defense.

Who is Considered an Officer?

A broad definition of a law enforcement officer is described in D.C. Official Code § 22-405 as being an officer or member of any police force operating the District of Columbia. Members of the various police departments within the District, campus police, university special police, and the fire department fall into the category of law enforcement officers. In addition, government inspectors, code inspectors, government and court employees who monitor people in the criminal and juvenile system, and correctional officers are protected under the statute.

Court Treatment of Assault on an Officer Cases

Assault on an officer is more serious than other assault charges in the District. The police and judges take these charges extremely seriously and pursue them aggressively.

Courts take assault on a police officer charges most seriously because of the vulnerable position police are in when they are on duty. A conviction for an assault on an officer charge can lead to significant consequences.

Building an Assault on an Officer Defense

An assault on an officer lawyer in DC could help a defendant gather evidence and build a defense that could be used to get the charges reduced or dismissed. If there is a conviction, the lawyer could present mitigating factors for a judge to consider when imposing a sentence. Those factors might be little or no criminal history and the circumstances regarding the assault.

For example, if someone launches an attack on a police officer for no reason, that likely gets a harsher sentence than someone who is approached by the officer who overreacts or uses excessive force. Each case is unique and an attorney could help identify the factors that are most helpful to the defendant to get the best result when preparing the defense.

When it is not clear that the individual is a police officer, that can have an impact and make it less likely for the prosecutor to successfully pursue the charge. There is also the possibility that an assault was not related to the fact that the person was a police officer. However, it is crucial to understand that even if the officer is off-duty, the charges can still be brought.

Assault of an Officer Penalties

If the charge is a misdemeanor assault on an officer, the defendant faces prison for not more than six months in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both. When the officer is significantly injured, or the assault created a grave risk of significant injury, it is a felony offense. If the individual is found guilty of a felony assault on an officer charge, they will face up to ten years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000. A dedicated DC assault on an officer attorney could help an individual who is facing these penalties build an effective defense.

Contact a Washington DC Assault on an Officer Attorney

Due to the seriousness of these charges, it is crucial for defendants to obtain a well-versed legal professional as soon as possible. If you have been arrested, call a DC assault on an officer lawyer today.