Battery on a Law Enforcment Officer
Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer
What must the prosecutor prove in a Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer Case?
According to Florida Statute § 784.07, the offense of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer occurs when a person:
- Actually and intentionally touches or strikes the victim against the will of the victim; or intentionally causes bodily harm to the victim.
- The victim was a Law Enforcement Officer.
- Defendant knew that the victim was a Law Enforcement Officer.
- The Victim was engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties when the battery was committed.
What are the maximum penalties in a Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer case?
In Florida, a Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of:
- 5 years of imprisonment
- A $5,000.00 fine
- Five years of probation
- Mandatory Adjudication of Guilt
Possible Defenses to a Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer Charge:
- Self Defense in a Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer Charge
Under Florida Law, a person is not justified in using force to resist an arrest by a law enforcement officer, or to resist a law enforcement officer who is engaged in the execution of a legal duty, if the law enforcement officer was acting in good faith and he or she is known, or reasonably appears, to be a law enforcement officer.
However, if an officer uses excessive force to make an arrest, then a person is justified in the use of reasonable force to defend him or herself or another, but only to the extent he or she reasonably believes such force is necessary.
- The Officer was not engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties
A conviction for Battery on a Law Enforcement officer requires proof that the officer was engaged in the performance of a lawful duty. For example, in the case of Nicolosi v. State, 783 So.2d 1095 (5th DCA 2001) a female college student slapped a police officer that was working an off-duty job at a nightclub. Because the officer was working the door checking identifications when he was slapped, the Court found that the officer was not engaged in the lawful performance of his duty but was rather working for a private employer. Therefore, college student could not be convicted of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer.
- The Defendant did not Know the Victim was a Law Enforcement Officer
A conviction for Battery on a Law Enforcement officer requires proof that the Defendant knew the victim was a Law Enforcement Officer. For example, if an officer was working in plain clothes in an undercover capacity and did not properly identify himself as a Law Enforcement Officer, a Defendant accused of striking that officer could claim he did not know the victim was a law enforcement officer.
Are you looking for the best attorney to handle a charge of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer lawyer in Tampa Florida? Contact Attorney David C. Hardy.
Tampa Attorney David C. Hardy is a former prosecutor that now represents persons accused of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer. 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 Battery cases.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer 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.