Assault on a an Emergency Medical Care Provider

Assault on a an Emergency Medical Care Provider

Assault on an Emergency Medical Care Provider

What must the prosecutor prove in an Assault on an Emergency Medical Care Provider charge?
According to Florida Statute § 784.07, to prove the crime of Assault on an Emergency Medical Care Provider, the prosecutor must prove the following six things:

  1. The Defendant intentionally threatened, either by word or act, to do violence to the victim;
  2. At the time the Defendant appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat;
  3. The act of the Defendant created in the mind of the victim a well-founded fear that the violence was about to take place;
  4. The victim was at the time an Emergency Medical Care Provider;
  5. The Defendant knew that the victim was an Emergency Medical Care Provider;
  6. At the time of the assault, the victim was engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties.

Who qualifies as an Emergency Medical Care Provider?
Florida Statute 784.07(1)(a) states, in part, that an “Emergency medical care provider” means an ambulance driver, emergency medical technician, paramedic, registered nurse, physician, medical director, or any person authorized by an emergency medical service who is engaged in the performance of his or her duties. The term “emergency medical care provider” also includes physicians, employees, agents, or volunteers of hospitals as defined in chapter 395, who are employed, under contract, or otherwise authorized by a hospital to perform duties directly associated with the care and treatment rendered by the hospital’s emergency department or the security thereof.

What are the maximum penalties in an Assault on an Emergency Medical Care Provider?
In Florida, an Assault on an Emergency Medical Care Provider is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of:

  1. One year of imprisonment
  2. A $1,000.00 fine
  3. 12 months of probation

Possible Defenses to an Assault an Emergency Medical Care Provider Charge:

  1. The Florida Stand Your Ground Law

Under the Florida Stand Your Ground Law a person is justified in threatening to use force against another if the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend him or herself against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force.  A person may also threaten to use force to protect property.

  1. Self Defense

Even when a judge rules that the Florida Stand Your Ground Law does not apply in a case, a person accused of Assault on an Emergency Medical Care Provider can still claim he or she acted in Self-Defense.

If a jury, or in the case of a bench trial, the judge, were to find that there was a reasonable doubt as to whether or not a person was justified in using an Assault an Emergency Medical Care Provider to protect himself or herself, then the jury or judge should find the person not guilty.

  1. The Victim Was Not Engaged in the Lawful Performance of His or Her Duties

In order for the State to bring a charge of Assault on an Emergency Medical Care Provider, the victim must have been engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties at the time of the Assault.

For example, imagine a paramedic is arriving to work at a hospital and the paramedic and Person B get in an argument over a parking spot.   Imagine further that Person B makes a fist and threatens to punch the paramedic.

Because at the time of the assault the paramedic was not engaged in the lawful performance of his duties, Person B can’t be convicted of Assault on an Emergency Medical Care Provider.  However, it is possible that Person B could be convicted of simple assault.

  1. The State Must Prove That the Victim was an Emergency Medical Care Provider

In the case of Spurgeon v. State, 114 So.3d 1042 (Fla. 5th DCA 2013), the Defendant was charged with battery on an emergency medical care provider for spitting in the face of hospital security officer.  At trial, the State was required to prove that the hospital where the incident took place fit the legal definition of a hospital as laid out in Chapter 395 of the Florida Statutes.  Because at trial the State failed to prove the hospital fit this precise legal definition, the Court overturned the Defendant’s conviction.

Are you looking for the best lawyer to handle a charge of Assault on an Emergency Medical Care Provider in Tampa Florida? Contact Attorney David C. Hardy.

Tampa Attorney David C. Hardy is a former prosecutor that now represents persons accused of Assault on an Emergency Medical Care Provider.  He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as an Expert in Criminal Trial Law. As a prosecutor and defense attorney, he has extensive experience handling all types of assault cases.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for Assault on an Emergency Medical Care Provider in Hillsborough County Florida, Pinellas County Florida, or Pasco County Florida, Attorney David C. Hardy has the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide you through this process and obtain the best possible results.