BATTERY ON A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer Defense Attorney
According to Florida Statute 784.07 the crime of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer is defined as any person who intentionally touches or strikes a police officer against his or her will or causes bodily injury to that law enforcement officer. In order for the prosecutor to meet the burden of proof that Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer was committed, the state must additionally prove the defendant knew the victim was a law enforcement officer, and the victim was engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties at the time the battery occurred.
“Law Enforcement Officer” is a broad term that includes many types of officers of the law. It is not strictly confined to a “police officer.” Law Enforcement Officers include, among others:
- Correctional Officers;
- Probation Officers;
- Public Transit Employees;
- Federal Law Enforcement Agents/Officers;
- Community College Security Personnel;
- Emergency Medical Care Providers;
- Officers of the Fishing and Wildlife Conservation Commission; or
- Parking Enforcement Officers.
If the circumstances of the battery are deemed especially grievous or the crime of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer can be elevated to Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer. This heightened crime is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. According to Florida Statute 784.07(2)(d), there is a minimum mandatory prison sentence of five years for Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer.
The crime of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer is a third-degree felony
- up to five years in prison;
- up to five years probation; and
- a $5,000 fine.
Battery (or Aggravated Battery) of a Law Enforcement Officer may be combated with several defenses that include:
- An act of self-defense, outside a legal arrest situation;
- The officer is a private sector employee, and not within the bounds of the definition of Law Enforcement Officer as defined above;
- The contact made by the defendant was merely reflexive, or incidental, and thus did not meet the basic required elements to constitute battery;
- The defendant lacked knowledge that the person was a Law Enforcement Officer working in such capacity;
- The officer’s attempt to arrest/engage the defendant was excessively forceful and resulted in defendant’s self-defense actions; or
- The incident was brought about when the officer was not working in an official capacity or engaged in a lawful duty.
If you find yourself standing accused of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, you need to be sure you have a good lawyer on your side. Facing Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer charges (or Aggravated Battery of Law Enforcement Officer), can be tricky without the proper representation. For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Orlando, contact Sercombe Law. We routinely handle matters in Orange County and nearby jurisdictions.