What You Need to Know if Charged with Aggravated Assault of a Police Officer
When you have been placed under arrest, it is in your best interests to be calm and cooperative, even if law enforcement officers are not treating you with the respect you deserve. Lashing out and striking an officer will only make matters worse. You may be charged with additional crimes, such as aggravated assault of a police officer, beyond what led to your arrest in the first place.
The crime of aggravated assault of a police officer includes attempted or actual physical harm. To prove you committed such an aggravated assault against an officer, the prosecutor must be able to prove the following:
- You (the defendant) caused or attempted to cause bodily injury
- That injury or attempted injury was to a police officer
- The officer was performing official law enforcement duties at the time of the incident
- You (the defendant) knew or should have reasonably known the victim was a police officer
The officer in question could be a standard police officer , a correctional officer in a jail or institutional setting or a sheriff’s deputy. Other public officials, including district attorneys, attorneys general and various regulatory enforcers, may also be protected under these laws.
The final element listed above is important. For a person to be convicted of aggravated assault against an officer, he or she must either know or have reason to know the victim was an officer performing official law enforcement duties. For example, if the officer was in uniform, was driving a marked police car, showed a badge or told the alleged offender he or she was an officer, the offender should reasonably know that officer was operating in a law enforcement capacity.
For more information on what constitutes battery of a police officer and how to defend against these charges, contact experienced Reading criminal defense lawyer David R. Eshelman.