Someone could be charged with assaulting an officer if, without a justifiable and excusable cause, someone assaults a law enforcement officer while they are performing their official duties. Using force to resist an arrest is not considered a justifiable and excusable cause under DC law.
If you have been accused of illegal conduct towards law enforcement, speaking with a DC assault on an officer lawyer can help you defend your case. An experienced assault attorney can help you prepare a case you could be proud of.
A law enforcement officer under DC law is not limited to just police officers. A law enforcement officer can mean any officer or a member of a police force authorized to act in the District of Columbia. It includes reserve officers, civilian employees of the Metropolitan Police Department, special police officers, members of fire departments, corrections officers, probation officers, pretrial services agency officers, and campus or university special police.
Under the assault on a police officer statute, the use of force to resist an arrest even when the arrest is not lawful is not considered to be legally justifiable. This means a person does not have the option under DC law to resist an illegal arrest. Should someone find themselves charged with this charge, they should speak with a DC assault on an officer lawyer before speaking with police.
An arrest that is not justified or an arrest that is conducted without sufficient evidence or probable cause does not permit a person to use force to resist such an arrest as long as the person being arrested knows or has a reason to believe the person conducting the arrest is a law enforcement officer.
Assault on a police officer was narrowed to eliminate resisting, intimidating, or interfering with police officers. Assault on a police officer is limited to the actual act of assaulting a law enforcement officer.
This means that assault on a police officer requires some kind of active force as opposed to passive resistance, innocuous interference, or minimal interference with officer activities. The new statute does require proof of an assault as opposed to other actions that were eliminated from the DC statute. It can be critical for someone to discuss the details of the incident with a DC assault on an officer lawyer.
One important factor in assault on a police officer cases is that even at the misdemeanor level, a person is entitled to have their case tried by jury. Under DC laws, anyone facing a maximum possible penalty in their case of more than 180 days can have their case heard by a jury.
As DC assault on an officer lawyer knows, a key element that prosecutors case is proving the actual attack. They must prove that the person assaulted the officer because that person was an officer or while that police officer was engaged in the performance of their official duties.
In the event that a police officer is off-duty and a person is accused of assaulting the off-duty police officer, the prosecutor can only secure a conviction for assault on a police officer when they can prove the person committed the assault because the complainant was a police officer.
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