Assault on an Officer in San Leandro
While threatening or attempting to commit harm to another person is a serious standalone offense, this charge can be aggravated when it involves a public servant. Assault on an officer in San Leandro is a felony offense that could result in a period of incarceration.
If you were accused of assaulting a law enforcement official, you should seek representation by an established defense attorney in the area. A hardworking lawyer could look for weaknesses in the prosecutions case and help defend your freedom.
How Can Someone Be Charged with Assault on an Officer?
Under California Penal Code Section 245(c), a person could be charged with assault on an officer if he or she threatens or attempt to harm a police officer or firefighter. These assaults are often taken very seriously and punished more harshly than simple assaults.
As these cases are unique, it is important to understand what actions could result in an assault on an officer charge in San Leandro. For example, if a law enforcement official attempts to subdue someone for another crime and that individual physically resists, that could potentially result in an assault on an officer charge.
Another instance that could result in these charges occurs during traffic stops. As an officer approaches a vehicle that he or she pulled over, if the driver attempts to flee and nearly strikes the officer in doing so, that too could result in assault charges. Of course there are possible defenses that can be formulated to attack whether an actual assault occurred or whether the accused actually knew that the victim was an officer, firefighter, or other official engaged in the performance of their duties when the act took place.
Does a Case Change If the Assault was Committed on an Officer Outside the Scope of His or Her Position?
Penal Code Section 245 (c) only applies when the law enforcement official or firefighter is in the line of duty at the time of the assault. Therefore, if an officer or firefighter in the area is assaulted while off-duty, the accused would not be charged with assault on an officer.
However, there is still political and social pressure present when a public servant is the alleged victim of an assault. For this reason, people facing these charges in San Leandro often face harsh punishments and relentless prosecution. Assault on an officer is charged as a strike felony and the individual can face up to five years in state prison if convicted.
Proving Assault on a Public Servant
In order for a person in San Leandro to be convicted of assault on an officer, there has to be proof that the person was assaulted while lawfully performing his or her duties as a public servant. This could include issuing a ticket, detaining somebody pursuant to an investigation, preventing someone from committing a traffic violation, or trying to break up a fight between two citizens.
The second element that must be proven for a conviction of this charge is that the person who allegedly committed the assault must have been aware the victim was a police officer or public official. For instance, if an off-duty plain clothes cop is assaulted while trying to break up a fight, then the crime would not be charged under 245 (c), however if the officer was reporting to the fight and fully uniformed in a marked police car, then a reasonable person would recognize him or her as law enforcement.
A critical issue in these cases is whether the officer was acting lawfully as part of his or her duties as a public servant, if the defendant was aware of the victim’s status as a public servant, and whether self-defense applies. A local defense attorney could help someone charged with assault on an officer fight against these allegations.
Defend Against Assault on an Officer Charges with a San Leandro Attorney
Due to the legal and political severity of a conviction of an assault on an officer in San Leandro, it is highly important to seek legal guidance from a skilled attorney if you have been accused of this crime. An accomplished lawyer could look for weaknesses in the prosecutions case and investigate whether the public servant was on duty at the time of the alleged assault or if the elements of the crime have been met. To learn more about how a legal professional could help you, call our office today and schedule a free consultation.