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Prince William County Officer Assault Penalties

Assailing an officer is a particularly egregious offense because it is viewed as an attack on the justice system itself. An officers job is to protect and serve the community, and therefore if an individual purposefully undermines that, they could be looked down upon in court.

For this reason, Prince William County officer assault penalties can be severe. If you were accused of assailing a law enforcement official, contact an experienced assault lawyer who could help you build a defense and protect your interests in court.

Assailing an Officer Who is Off Duty

Law enforcement officers are easily identifiable by their clothes, vehicles, credentials, and weapons when they are on duty. However, when they are off duty and not in their uniform, they can be impossible to recognize.

If an attack against a law enforcement officer (LEO) was committed while the officer was off duty, an individual can claim that they did not know the person they attacked was an officer. If their claim is proven to be true, they could avoid Prince William County officer assault penalties.

These types of scenarios become less clear-cut if an officer was on duty but not wearing their uniform. Sometimes police officers must work undercover or are ordered to respond to crimes even when they are off their shift.

Prosecuting an Attack on a Law Enforcement Officer

Prosecutors tend to be less lenient in negotiating LEO assault cases. They do this to show solidarity with the law enforcement community and to send a message to the general public that assailing officers is an offense that will not be tolerated.

What Elements do Prosecutors Need to Prove?

The elements that prosecutors need to prove in an LEO assault case are as follows:

  • The officer was identifiable at the time of the attack
  • The defendant knew the victim was an officer
  • The officer was engaging in their public duty at the time of the attack

What Pieces of Evidence do Prosecutors Use?

Sometimes the only evidence the prosecution needs to put forward in order to win a case is the testimony of an officer. Courts tend to treat the word of LEOs as fact, which makes it difficult for a defendant to counter an officer’s testimony. A defendant would need additional evidence such as video footage to defend their case and evade any Prince William County officer assault penalties.

Potential Penalties for LEO Assault

In Virginia, an attack on a law enforcement officer is punishable by mandatory minimum incarceration of 6 months and a maximum of up to 5 years in prison. An individual charged with assailing an officer could also have to pay a fine of up to $2,500.

How a Prince William County Assault Attorney Could Assist

If you were accused of assailing an officer, contact a Prince William County attorney immediately. Offenses against LEO’s are serious charges and will be treated by prosecutors as such. An experienced attorney could help you evade Prince William County officer assault penalties.

You deserve to have an experienced attorney by your side during this difficult time. Call today to schedule a consultation and begin crafting a strong defense.

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