Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer in Orlando, Florida: A Comprehensive Guide by a Criminal Defense Attorney
Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer is essentially a charge of Battery or Aggravated Battery that is enhanced based on the victim’s status as a law enforcement officer. Specifically, under Sec. 784.07, Florida Statutes, the elements of Battery on a Law Enforcement in Florida are:
- A person intentionally touched or struck another person against that person’s will, or intentionally caused harm to that person; AND
- The offender knew that the other person was a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or the like engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties.
Elements of Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer
The charge becomes Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer if, in the course of committing the battery, the offender:
- Intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement;
- Used a deadly weapon in the commission of the battery; OR
- Battered a pregnant person when the defendant knew or should have known the victim was pregnant.
Penalties for Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer in Florida
|Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer
|Up to 5 years of prison or probation, and a $5,000 fine
|This specific charge carries a severity level of 4 (or 22 points) under the Criminal Punishment Code. Assuming there are no aggravating circumstances (such as prior criminal convictions), there is no minimum mandatory sentence. This means that even though the judge can sentence you up to the maximum prison time, the judge is not required to order any amount of prison time.
|Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer
|Up to 30 years of prison or probation, and a $10,000 fine
|Moreover, the law imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years of imprisonment. Therefore, the court is required to impose a sentence of anywhere between 5 and 30 years of imprisonment upon conviction.
How Can I Fight a Charge of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer in Florida?
There are several ways to fight a charge of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer in Florida. The most common defenses include:
- Lack of Intent: To prove a case of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, the State must show that you had intentionally touched or caused harm to the officer. For example, if you accidentally strike an officer out of reflex while being handcuffed, that would not constitute a battery.
- Resisting Excessive Force: Although you cannot resist an arrest just because the officer has no authority for the arrest, you are allowed to use non-deadly force to protect yourself against excessive force. As long as you only defend yourself against the excessive force and did not try to escape the arrest itself, you cannot be convicted of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer.
- Lack of Knowledge of Officer’s Status: Because an essential element of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer is that you knew the victim was an officer, you cannot be convicted if the State fails to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were aware of that fact.
- Motion to Suppress: This is a request made by a defendant in a trial that asks a judge to exclude certain evidence from being presented by the prosecution because it was illegally obtained. If the motion is granted, the prosecution cannot use the evidence in question, and this can often lead to the dismissal of the case.
- Alibi Defense: An alibi defense consists of evidence that the defendant was somewhere else when the crime occurred. This can be proven through witness testimony, surveillance footage, or other means.
These are just a few of the myriad strategies that can be used to challenge the State’s case or prove your innocence. If you are facing a charge of Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, it is crucial to seek the help of a skilled Florida Battery on Law Enforcement Defense Attorney.
1. What distinguishes battery on a law enforcement officer from battery on a civilian?
Battery on a law enforcement officer is considered a more serious crime than battery on a civilian due to the officer’s role in maintaining public safety. The penalties are typically more severe, and it’s often classified as an aggravated battery or felony battery.
2. What are the long-term consequences of a battery on a law enforcement officer charge?
Aside from the immediate legal penalties such as imprisonment and fines, a battery on a law enforcement officer charge can have long-term consequences. It can affect future employment opportunities, especially in fields that require background checks. It can also impact your ability to secure housing or loans, and it may affect your rights, including your voting rights and your ability to own a firearm.
3. Can the charge of battery on a law enforcement officer be reduced?
Yes, in some cases, the charge of battery on a law enforcement officer can be reduced, especially if it’s your first offense or if there are mitigating circumstances. This typically requires the skills of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can negotiate with the prosecution or present a strong defense in court.
4. What should I do if I’m falsely accused of battery on a law enforcement officer?
If you’re falsely accused of battery on a law enforcement officer, it’s crucial to seek legal representation immediately. An experienced attorney can help protect your rights, gather evidence, and build a strong defense to challenge the accusation.
5. Can I be charged with battery on a law enforcement officer if the officer was off-duty?
Yes, you can still be charged with battery on a law enforcement officer even if the officer was off-duty at the time of the incident. The key factor is whether you were aware of the officer’s status as a law enforcement officer.
If you are looking for the best Florida Battery on Law Enforcement Defense Attorney, contact a Central Florida criminal lawyer to discuss any allegations of battery against police officers located in Orlando, Orange County, Florida as well as Seminole County, Brevard County, Lake County, Volusia County and Osceola County. We fight to defend our clients accused of this kind of violent crime. Leppard Law was selected to the list of “Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in Orlando” Expertise, for the last six years in a row. We’ll put that experience to work for you! Text or call us now at 407-476-4111.