Alexandria Assault On An Officer Attorney
In Alexandria, anytime there is an assault on a police officer or any judicial officer who is in the exercise of their official duties, that act is considered a Class 6 felony. Due to the severity of this charge, it is crucial that an individual who is facing these charges contact a knowledgeable assault lawyer who has dealt with similar cases as soon as they can. Once legal counsel has been contacted, they will be able to start building a strong defense to combat the case that prosecutors would have had time to form against their client. It is always in the best interest of someone who has been charged with a crime, especially one of this magnitude, to seek legal assistance. An attorney will be able to walk them through the legal process, as well as help them make wise decisions with regard to what their client does/says before and during their trial.
An experienced assault on an officer lawyer will not only be familiar with the laws in Alexandria, but they will also be able to negotiate on behalf of their client, and in some scenarios, they are able to lessen penalties that would otherwise remain the same. Facing a possible conviction is a frightening situation to be in, and the individual that must deal with this will need someone in their corner who can walk them through the many stages of their case.
Understanding The Charge
While the elements of an assault & battery case on an officer are the same as they would be if the individual that was attacked was a civilian, a charge that accompanies harming an officer is a statutory minimum sentence of six months in jail. Anyone who is a police officer, sworn in, and is carrying their badge of authority is considered an officer for purposes of this law.
It is important to note that an individual will be charged with harming an officer if they are guilty of physically harming them while they are on duty, or while they are in the performance of their duties. The most frequent example of an assault on a police officer is when officers are arresting someone and they resist. Very often this happens when a person is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs and they kick, throw a punch, or do something to batter the officer as they are being arrested or apprehended.
The Severity Of Assaulting An Officer
Physically harming a police officer is a very serious charge for many reasons, and the penalties and repercussions that accompany this type of charge are more severe because the victim is typically someone who is well known to the prosecutor and the judge. While regular assault and battery charges are misdemeanors, an assault on a police officer is a Class 6 felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison with a mandatory minimum term of six months or 12 months in jail as well as up to a $2,500 fine and the additional mandatory six months in jail.
With a regular assault and battery case, the prosecutor may sometimes only meet with the victim once. The two individuals will have a conversation and the victim will discuss how they would like to move forward with the case. From there, the prosecutor may or may not take the victims personal wishes into account when they create their strategy for approaching the case in court. In a case that involves the assault of an officer, a prosecutor will be much more aggressive due to the fact that the victim is someone that they know. If that police officer is adamant about the case taking a certain route or being prosecuted in a certain way, they are more likely to get their way with the prosecutor than an average citizen would be.
Mitigating Factors Used By Defense Attorneys
All of the normal affirmative defenses to an assault and battery charge are applicable to an assault on a police officer. With this in mind, if an assault on an officer attorney in Alexandria builds a defense for his client that states that he or she was defending themselves to a reasonable degree and proportionally to a threat they faced, that defense will hold up in court. Consent can also be a defense, therefore, if two individuals engage in a fight that was mutually agreed upon, the legal repercussions will not amount to an assault and battery charge because both of the participants willingly engaged in said fight.
Ultimately, the best defense for an individual who is facing assault on an officer charges in Alexandria, especially if the victim of the physical attack was an officer, is having a well-experienced lawyer involved in the case.