Proving New York City Assault on an Officer Cases
Sometimes assault on an officer cases are heard differently than other assault cases given their attachment to protected officials, but not always. In any case, there are certain elements that must be proven in New York City assault on an officer cases.
An experienced assault on an officer lawyer knows these elements and how to disprove them. They can help create a strong defense strategy to help protect your rights.
Elements to New York City Prosecutors Must Prove
In any assault case, New York City prosecutors need to prove the specific elements of the charge. If the defendant is charged with causing a serious physical injury, the prosecutor must show that the defendant intentionally caused that injury, regardless of whether that person is a police officer.
If the defendant is charged with causing physical injury to a police officer who is doing their lawful duty, the prosecutor needs to show that the defendant was aware that the alleged victim was a police officer, that the police officer was performing a lawful duty, and that the defendant caused the injury. In this situation the prosecutor is not required to show that the defendant had any specific intention to cause an injury, but simply intended to impede the officer from executing their duty.
How Can Body Cameras Affect a Case?
The use of police body cameras might impact an assault on an officer case. If this footage is available, it would remove a significant amount of uncertainty regarding the facts of what transpired.
Frequently, there is significant disagreement as to whether the police or the defendant started the altercation, what type of provocation took place before the incident, and who is at fault for any injuries that occurred. The use of body cameras would help clear up how the incident began and whether the defendant could rightly be convicted of assault by showing the underlying facts.
Defenses and Mitigating Factors in Assault on an Officer Cases
There are a few defenses available in these cases. The most obvious defense is that the officer never identified themselves and the defendant did not know that the individual was a member of the police. Similarly, if the police officer was acting the outside the scope of their lawful duty, for example, conducting an illegal stop or an illegal search, the defendant could not be charged under the specific section of assault in the second degree because the lawful aspect of the duty is a requirement.
There are also potential mitigating factors in these cases. If the individual has never been arrested before, if they participate in community or charity work, if they are on active duty or reserve military, if there was provocation prior to the assault, or if they voluntarily enter an anger management or therapy prior to the case being resolved, that may impact the penalties. An attorney can further discuss defenses and mitigating factors in these cases.
An Attorney Can Discuss the Elements to Prove in New York City Assault on an Officer Cases
Police and prosecutors tend to rely on each other and view themselves as being on the same team. Because of that, there is commonly a sense of heightened protection which prosecutors afford alleged victims who are also police officers.
However, prosecutors also have a sworn duty to ensure a just case outcome and they should be aware that they are not to come down unnecessarily hard on somebody just because of the nature of the alleged victim in the case. A skilled lawyer knows what a prosecutor has to prove in a New York City assault on an officer case and can build a defense to give you the best chance of a positive outcome. Call today to get started.