Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO)
In many assault on a law enforcement officer cases, the arresting officer used force, including throwing the suspect to the ground, drawing a weapon, or using a taser. When the officer uses force, the officer must complete a "use of force" form that details the reason such force was used. In many cases, the officers have an incentive to allege that the suspect committed assault or battery against the officer in order to justify the use of force. For the suspect in question, this can lead to serious criminal charges.
Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer Defense Lawyer in Orlando, FL
If you have been charged with assault, battery, aggravated assault or aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, then contact a criminal defense attorney at Hale and Hale, P.A. Based in Orlando, FL, our attorneys work with men, women, and youth in a variety of assault-related offenses. Their experience and understanding of tactics used by the prosecution allows them to confidently represent clients throughout the Orange County area.
We provide a free consultation to discuss the charges, the maximum and minimum punishments and penalties, and defenses that can help you win your case. Self-defense is one of the most commonly asserted affirmative defenses used at trial. Call (407) 425-4640 or send an online message to learn more.
Florida Assault on a Protected Person Information Center
Penalties for Assault or Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer in Florida
Under Florida Statute § 784.07, it is unlawful for a person to commit assault or battery against a law enforcement officer (LEO). If convicted, this offense can be punished as follows:
- Assault on LEO
- 2nd degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in prison and $500 in fines; or
- 1st degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in prison and $1,000 in fines.
- Battery on LEO
- 1st degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in Florida State prison and a fine up to $1,000; or
- 3rd degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
- Aggravated Assault on LEO (minimum 3 year imprisonment)
- 3rd degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in a Florida State prison and a fine of up to $5,000; or
- 2nd degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in a Florida State prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Aggravated Battery on LEO (minimum 5 year imprisonment)
- 2nd degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines; or
- 1st degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in a Florida State prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Additionally, a person who is charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and used a firearm or destructive device during the commission of the offense will face a minimum 3 year imprisonment. If a semiautomatic firearm and high-capacity detachable box magazine was used, there will be a mandatory 8 year minimum sentence.
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Definitions Associated with Florida Statute § 784.07
"Assault" is defined as an intentional verbal or physical threat of violence on another person, combined with the demonstrated or apparent ability to do so, which cases fear in the other person that violence is likely to occur.
"Battery" is defined as the act of touching or striking a person against the will of the person, intentionally causing bodily harm.
"Law enforcement officer" can include a full, part-time or auxiliary law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or probation officer. Similarly, "law enforcement explorer" may include a current member of a law enforcement agency's explorer program who is performing law enforcement duties on behalf of the agency, while under the direct supervision of an officer and wearing a uniform that identifies the law enforcement agency represented.
"Emergency medical care provider" may refer to an ambulance driver, emergency medical technician, paramedic, registered nurse, or any person authorized as an emergency medical care provider. This can include physicians, employees, agents, or hospital volunteers who are employed or contracted to perform authorized duties such as care or treatment.
"Firefighter" can refer to a person employed the local or federal state government who is responsible for extinguishing fires; protecting life or property; and enforcing municipal, county, and state fire codes, as well as laws related to preventing and controlling fires.
"Public transit employees or agents" may mean a bus operator, train operation, revenue collector, security personnel, equipment maintenance, or field supervisors, who are acting in their capacity as agents of a transit agency.
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Elements of Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer under Florida Law
At trial, the prosecuting attorney with the State Attorney's Office in Florida must provide the following six (6) elements beyond all reasonable doubt:
- The person who allegedly committed the assault intentionally and unlawfully threatened, either by word or act, to do violence to the alleged victim.
- At the time of the act, the person accused of assault appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat.
- The act carried out by the person accused of assault created a well-founded fear in the victim that violence was about to take place.
- The alleged victim was at the time a law enforcement officer (LEO), federal law enforcement officer, emergency medical care provider, traffic infraction enforcement officer, security officer employed by the board of trustees of a community college, firefighter, traffic accident investigation officer or a parking enforcement specialist.
- The person accused of assault knew the alleged victim was an employee of one of the protective classes discussed above.
- At the time of the assault, the alleged victim was engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties.
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Hale & Hale, P.A. | Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer Attorney in Orlando
If you have been charged in Orlando, Winter Park, Ocoee, Edgewood, or another Orange County city, with assault or battery on a law enforcement officer or other protected person, contact a criminal defense attorney at Hale & Hale, P.A. Let us help you understand the charges against you and how certain defenses might apply. Call today for a free consultation and take the important first steps towards combating these charges.