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Assault and Battery on a Police Officer

Assault and battery on a police officer is considered a misdemeanor offense in the state of Massachusetts. If found guilty of this charge, you may be facing imprisonment of up to 2.5 years in the house of correction with fines ranging from $500.00-$5,000.00. These penalties differ significantly from a lesser assault and battery charge as there is a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 90 days.

Assault and battery on a police officer can sometimes be resolved short of trial through an agreement with the district attorney. In some cases, the charges may be dismissed on court costs or you may be placed on something called pretrial probation. Generally, the district attorney would check with the police officer to see what the officer’s level of interest in the case is in terms of how vigorous the officer would want to prosecute it.

In some cases where it is clear the incident was caused by alcohol, such as at a concert, the officer may be inclined for a more lenient disposition. In other types of cases, the officer may insist that the charge remains as is or that some omission be obtained. Assault and battery on a police officer can be amended to a lesser charge such as simple assault and battery. This is a lesser charge as it is viewed as less serious and does not indicate that the assault was on a police officer.

In some cases where the defendant is charged with assault and battery on a police officer there may be other charges such as resisting arrest or disorderly conduct. In that situation, it is possible that the assault and battery on a police officer could be dismissed in exchange for a plea on some of the other charges. Typically, this is a charge where the district attorney’s will have a great deal of discretion as to how the case is resolved.

blue arrow In order to be found guilty of assault and battery on a police officer or public employee, a prosecutor must prove the six following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
  1. That you, as a defendant, touched the police officer or public employee without having any right or excuse for doing so;
  2. That you intended to touch the alleged victim
  3. That the touching was likely to cause harm to the officer or public employee or that it was done without the victim’s consent
  4. That the victim was in fact an employee of the public or a police officer
  5. That you, as a defendant, were aware that the victim was a police officer or public employee
  6. That the police officer or public employee was engaged in the performance of his or her duties when the incident occurred

Most people think that the likelihood that they will face assault and battery on a police officer is low. What these people fail to recognize, however, is that it takes a mere intentional touch to bring this charge against you.

Defenses to an Assault and Battery on a Police Officer or Public Employee Charge:

Because there is a minimum jail sentence of 90 days if found guilty of this crime, it is imperative you hire an attorney to represent you in court. An experienced attorney may raise the self-defense argument, arguing that you assaulted the police officer in order to defend yourself. It is not uncommon for a police officer to become aggressive over the course of the arrest, and people who are being arrested for the first time may not be familiar with how police act during the arrest itself.

Who is considered a public employee?

A public employee is anyone who is employed by the state of Massachusetts, including but not limited to anyone who holds an office in a local or state agency. Some examples of public employees are:

  • Firefighters
  • Court Personnel
  • Teachers

To understand a resisting arrest charge and how it may be coupled with an assault and battery charge read more here.

Because Assault and battery on a police officer or public employee is a crime serious in nature, it is important you discuss your case with an experienced attorney at DelSignore Law today .

By hiring a DelSignore Law Attorney, you may be able to lessen the charge to simple assault and battery; feel free to read more about assault and battery here .