Rockland County Assault on an Officer Lawyer
Assaulting or attacking a police officer is often more serious than simple assault or battery against any other individual. As a result, anyone who is charged with assaulting law enforcement should contact a Rockland County assault on an officer lawyer to help them with their case.
If you have been accused of assaulting a police officer, call a skilled defense lawyer as soon as possible. They could evaluate your case and help you decide how best to defend yourself. An attorney who experienced defending individuals against officer assault charges could use that experience to benefit you.
Who Qualifies as a Police Officer Under the Law?
According to state law, these charges relate to the assault of a police officer or “other peace officer.” However, these terms cover a number of public servants beyond city police officers. This applies to city and county sheriff’s deputies as well as state police officers.
In addition to the police, assault on an officer charges could involve other public servants such as:
- State commission investigators
- Investigators for accusations of tax fraud or tax-related offenses
- Agents that investigate cruelty to animals, arson, or health code violations
Basics of Assaulting an Officer Charges in Rockland County
Under New York Penal Law §120.00, an assault occurs when a person intends to cause physical injury to another and actually causes that injury. Although assault is normally a misdemeanor, New York has more specific statutes that criminalize assault of a police officer or other law enforcement officer.
For example, assaulting a police officer may be charged as a second-degree assault. Under New York Penal Law §120.05, second-degree assault occurs if a person causes physical injury to a police officer with the intent to prevent that officer from performing their lawful duty. Second-degree assault is a felony rather than a mere misdemeanor.
New York further criminalizes assaulting law enforcement personnel by means of New York Penal Law §120.08. Under this statute, an individual may not cause serious physical injury to a police officer while preventing them from exercising their lawful duty. A Rockland County assault on an officer lawyer could provide additional information about the legal definition of assault and which statutes may apply to a specific case.
Aggravated Assault of an Officer
The most serious charge involving assaulting an officer is aggravated assault. Under New York Penal Law §120.11, a person is guilty of aggravated assault of a police officer if:
- They intend to cause the officer serious physical injury
- The officer is performing their official duties
- They cause such an injury with a deadly weapon
The aggravated assault of a police officer is a class B felony, which, according to New York Penal Law. §70.00, carries a maximum potential prison sentence of 25 years. Any person who was charged with aggravated assault of a police officer should contact a Rockland County assault on an officer lawyer immediately.
What is a Serious Physical Injury?
Not every injury to a police officer will result in a conviction for aggravated assault. Under the statute, the officer’s resulting injuries must be severe to warrant aggravated assault charges.
A severe injury is one that represents a substantial risk of death or permanent disability. If the injury in question does not meet this standard, a seasoned lawyer could use this as a viable defense to the aggravated aspect of the assault charges.
What Constitutes Official Duties?
Another possible defense to a charge of assault on an officer relates to their official duties. This charge is only applicable in situations where the officer was in the process of performing their lawful duties. In other words, this statute does not apply if the police officer was not on the clock.
For example, harming a police officer during a traffic stop could qualify as an assault on an officer under the statute. However, the same might not be true if a police officer is involved in a bar fight on their personal time. By establishing that the officer in question was not performing their legal duties, a defendant could avoid a conviction for this offense.
Menacing a Police Officer
A Rockland County assault on an officer lawyer could also assist help someone if they are charged with the related crime of menacing an officer. Under New York Penal Law §120.18, an individual is guilty of this crime if they intentionally place, or attempt to place, a police officer in fear of physical injury or death.
To be charged with menacing an officer, the person must have displayed a deadly weapon, including a firearm or knife, while the officer was performing their duties. Menacing an officer is a class D felony, which carries a jail term of between three to seven years, according to New York Penal Law §70.00.
How a Rockland County Assault on an Officer Attorney Can Help
When you are accused of assaulting a police officer, you have rights. If you were charged with attacking law enforcement in New York, contact a Rockland County assault on an officer lawyer for legal assistance.
An attorney knows how to investigate officer assault cases and we could review your case to be sure they have all the facts. They could then work with you to plan a defense that gives you the best chance of success. If you need help with an assault on an officer charge, be sure to call as soon as possible.