Assault on a Police Officer
Assault on a police officer, or APO, is a criminal offense that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the offense. APO is prosecuted aggressively in the District of Columbia. The definition of assault on a police officer is so broad that, often, people are accused of APO even if they showed no violent physical aggression against the law enforcement officer. To help defend yourself against the criminal charge, contact a skilled Washington, DC criminal defense lawyer.
Experienced Washington, DC APO Attorney
When hearing the word “assault,” many people think of physical aggression and violence against another person. However, when it comes to assault on a police officer (APO) charges, the definition is much broader. In fact, many actions most people would deem as merely “resisting arrest” are covered under DC law’s definition of assault on a police officer. The DC Criminal Code, under § 22-405, defines APO as:
Whoever without justifiable and excusable cause, assaults, resists, opposes, impedes, intimidates, or interferes with a law enforcement officer on account of, or while that law enforcement officer is engaged in the performance of his or her official duties shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned not more than 180 days or fined not more than $1,000, or both.
Actively resisting arrest can result in a misdemeanor APO charge, conviction of which may result in jail time and a significant fine. However, if a person is accused of an assault on a police officer and that assault is a “violent act that creates a grave risk of causing significant bodily injury to the officer,” the defendant may be charged with felony APO. As a felony, assault on a police officer is punishable by a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and fines of up to $10,000. Whether you have been charged with APO as a misdemeanor or felony, it is important to retain qualified legal counsel as soon as possible.
Knowledgeable Washington, DC Assault on a Police Officer Lawyers
Washington, DC APO lawyers know that the prosecution must prove several elements in order to win a conviction for assaulting a police officer. The elements of the crime include:
- The alleged victim was a DC law enforcement officer (including Metropolitan Police Department, Park Police, Capitol Police, DC fire department officers or members, DC corrections officers and employees)
- The defendant assaulted, resisted, opposed, impeded, intimidated, or interfered with the officer engaged in the performance of his or her duties
- The defendant’s actions were voluntary and willful
- The defendant knew or had reason to believe that the alleged victim was a law enforcement officer
If any of these actions or elements can be disproved, the APO charge may be dismissed.
When You Need an Assault on a Police Officer Lawyer in DC
If you have been charged with assault on a police officer, find an APO lawyer in DC who can successfully represent you in court. You have several options for your defense, and your attorney can carefully evaluate your case to uncover the optimal strategy. The attorneys with Price Benowitz, LLP are committed to providing their clients with quality legal services and skillful defense against misdemeanor and felony APO charges.
Please contact us for more information or to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. If you are seeking information or representation regarding APO charges in Maryland, visit our Maryland office’s website here.