Orlando Attorney Defends Clients Charged with Violence Against Law Enforcement
Strategic representation for serious charges in Central Florida
Assault and battery charges are always serious, but if you’re accused of violence against a police officer, the charges rise to higher levels. Florida is a state that “backs the blue,” so you not only have to present reasonable facts in your favor; you also must overcome an aggressive prosecution that is aided by public sentiment in favor of law enforcement. When you retain The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. for your criminal case, you get a skilled and reputable attorney with experience representing defendants in these sensitive cases. Mr. Yates knows how to separate emotion from fact and to dispassionately challenge the elements of the case against you. He works thoughtfully and tirelessly to mitigate the charges and obtain the best outcome possible.
Florida law on battery against a law enforcement officer
Under Florida law, battery on a police officer means intentionally touching an officer against his or her will, striking an officer or causing an officer bodily harm. The accused must know that the victim is a law enforcement officer and the officer must have been engaged in the lawful performance of duties when the battery occurred.
When the victim is a law enforcement officer or other protected individual, assault and battery charges are enhanced as follows:
- Assault goes from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor.
- Battery goes from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony. If the battery occurs in furtherance of a riot, the mandatory minimum imprisonment is six months.
- Aggravated assault goes from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of three years.
- Aggravated battery goes from a second-degree felony to a first-degree felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.
The list of persons covered by the penalty enhancement statute includes law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical care providers, public transit employees or agents and other specified officers.
Resisting arrest under Florida law
In Florida it is illegal to resist arrest, either with or without violence. Resisting arrest without violence is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.00 and up to one year in jail. Resisting arrest with violence is a third-degree felony, carrying a maximum fine of $5,000 and up to five years in prison.
Although you can never legally resist an arrest, you can resist excessive force and brutality, since that is consistent with your general right to self-defense. Therefore, if you’re accused of resisting arrest, you might be able to make the case that you were trying to protect yourself from harmful or violent treatment. Other defenses to resisting arrest include the following:
- You did not resist arrest.
- You did not know you were dealing with a police officer.
- You did not know you were being placed under arrest.
- You had not intent to resist arrest.
- The arrest was patently illegal.
- The officer was not executing a legal duty.
Defenses to resisting arrest and to other violent crime charges are often highly technical, which is why you should seek the best criminal defense representation you can find. Your liberty and your future depend on it.
Contact a determined trial lawyer in Orlando for a criminal defense consultation
The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. defends clients accused of violence against law enforcement officers in Orlando and beyond. For strategic representation focused on positive results, call Tad A. Yates at 407-608-7777 or contact the firm online to schedule a consultation.