Assault on a Police Officer

If you have been charged with assault on a police officer, Scrofano Law PC can offer you the legal representation you need. Call us today for full case review.

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What Is An Assault Against a Police Officer?

Assault against a police officer is causing harm or injury to a law enforcement officer on duty. The crime also pertains to attempting or threatening to cause harm to the officer. Assaulting a police officer is a serious crime with specific and harsh penalties.

In addition to penalties, the charges of assault on a police officer come with a bit of stigma. The law finds it more offensive to assault an officer acting within their capacity. The officer’s authority level permits them to enforce the law. That is why this type of assault offense is taken so seriously.

When you are charged with assaulting a police officer, the criminal process can be sensitive. The assaulted officer will be there as both the witness and victim of the crime. You risk getting significant penalties as punishment.

Therefore, it is beneficial to have an experienced Maryland assault lawyer with you. A skilled attorney from Scrofano Law P.C., can help you with your assault case and ensure your rights are protected. Read on to learn more about this type of crime and how we can help.

Assault Against a Police Officer Laws in Maryland

Assault occurs when a person threatens, places reasonable fear, or attempts to cause immediate harm to another. In that case, the victim believes that the person can carry out the threat of imminent harm.

Assaulting a police officer’s charges vary from typical assault. Under Penal Code § 241 C, assaulting an officer is a criminal offense. This charge must meet the following criteria:

  • The defendant intended to frighten or threaten another person with immediate physical harm.

  • The defendant attempted to cause offensive physical contact or harm.

  • The defendant caused offensive physical harm to another person.

  • The defendant caused or threatened bodily harm to an officer performing official duties.

  • The defendant was aware or had reason to know that the victim was a law enforcement officer.

  • The defendant acted willfully.

  • The officer was engaged in the performance of lawful duties. Such official duties include making an arrest, investigating, or directing traffic.

Who Are Considered Law Enforcement Officers in Maryland?

Maryland defines police officers to include all public safety officers, such as:

  • Police officers and sheriffs

  • Tribal officers

  • Federal agents

  • Probation and parole officers

  • Correctional officers

  • University and school police officers

  • Transit and parking enforcement officers

  • Private security officers or guards

The law also includes assaults committed against the following individuals under that category:

  • An ambulance technician

  • Hospital staff

  • Firefighter who is providing aid

  • Peace officer, firefighter

  • Emergency medical technician

  • Mobile intensive care paramedic

  • Lifeguard

  • Process server

  • Traffic officer

  • Code enforcement officer

  • Animal control officer

  • Search and rescue member

What Are the Charges for Assaulting a Police Officer?

The classification for assault on a police officer varies in Maryland based on the severity of the officer’s injuries. However, assault of an officer is a felony-level offense.

  1. Class D felony: second-degree assault in Maryland. This is where the officers suffer serious physical injury or physical impairment.
  2. Class C felony: first-degree assault in Maryland. This involves cases where the officer died, lost a body part, or suffered severe health impairment.
  3. Class B felony: aggravated assault in Maryland. This involves cases where a dangerous or deadly weapon was used on a police officer.

Penalties for Assaulting a Law Enforcement Officer in Maryland?

If you are convicted of assaulting an officer, usually, probation is not an option. Typically, the severity of the punishment depends on the type of injury or impairment of the officer.

For a general assault charge, penalties include a fine not exceeding $2,500 and less than ten years in jail.

In contrast, when the crime involves an officer of the law, the penalties increase. It is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, up to ten years in county jail, or both. If a weapon was used in the alleged assault, the potential imprisonment could stretch to 25 years upon conviction.

Other than the punishments, a felony conviction can have other consequences, such as the following:

  • Trouble obtaining housing

  • Restitution, i.e., victim assistance fee

  • Trouble finding a job

  • Issues while looking for financing

  • Long-term ramifications due to having a criminal record

It is imperative to have a Maryland criminal lawyer who understands the assault law on your side.

Fighting Assault on a Police Officer Charges

An assault on a police officer charge is a felony offense in Maryland. Defending yourself against law enforcement officers can be complex. You may wish to investigate the events during the offense and gather witnesses who can testify on your behalf. However, handling assault charges without legal counsel can complicate the case outcome.

Since this area could be more complicated than many other legal realms, consulting with a knowledgeable attorney is a good idea.

Is Self-Defense a Reasonable Defense?

Self-defense can be a justifiable defense against an assault on a police officer charge. But, to establish self-defense, you must show you were in imminent danger of physical harm. In that case, your use of force was to protect yourself.

Is Resisting Arrest Considered Assault on a Police Officer?

Resisting arrest can be a separate charge from assaulting a police officer. But, if you threatened or caused physical harm during the arrest, you may be charged with assault. Resisting arrest involves obstructing an officer’s lawful duty to make an arrest. In contrast, assault involves intentionally causing harm or threatening to harm an officer.

How Scrofano Law P.C. Can Help

At Scrofano Law, P.C., we can assess your case to determine how to plan the most strategic defense. For example, here are some of the most common defenses for assault and battery crimes involving an officer.

  • Lack of knowledge that the victim was a police officer
  • Accidental occurrence of the event where the officer suffers harm
  • Self-defense
  • Resisting an unlawful arrest
  • False accusation

Also, we can access the police body cameras and possibly show that the alleged crime was not as the officer describes it.

A charge of assaulting a police officer is severe in Maryland, and a conviction is severely punishable. Even a simple assault can cost you several years in prison.

At Scrofano Law, P.C., our skilled assault lawyers have been actively helping clients with cases in Maryland similar to yours. Let us help you. If you face assault charges or other offenses, do not hesitate to contact us.

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Lysa S

Paolo Gnocchi is an excellent attorney. He offered sound advice and thoroughly explained the court process. If you are looking for professional representation and a reliable attorney that will advocate for you, Paolo is your guy. Joseph Scrofano and his team are all dedicated individuals. Hopefully I never need a criminal defense attorney again LOL, but if I do, Scrofano Law would be my choice!

David

Joe is amazing! Here’s the hard truth:

- 99% of cases that go court in DC end in convictions
- Last year there were 120 cases in DC and the conviction rate was 100%

Here is the good news, Joe represents people in DC and knows what he is doing! When I was charged with a crime that I didn’t commit, Joe went to work. Three years, a grueling court case, and one long battle later, I got to hear the words, “not guilty!” Joe didn’t just collect a retainer and show up on court date. He scrutinized every document in the case, subpoenaed the information he needed, and presented a perfect case of facts!

When you need someone that will fight for you and can actually win, Joe is the guy!!

Ryan K.

Paolo and this firm are top notch. They need to be thankful to have him on the team. Can’t put into words how amazing Paolo was and how thankful I am. He fought for me and succeeded. 5 stars!