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Under Florida law, Assault on a Police Officer is an enhanced type of criminal assault charge involving threatening conduct towards a law enforcement officer or other designated official. Simple assault on a police officer is classified as a first degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to one year in jail or 12 months probation, and a $1,000 fine.  Aggravated assault on a police officer is a second degree felony, with penalties of up to fifteen years in jail. If you have been arrested for Assault on Police Officer, contact our Jacksonville Florida Criminal Attorney for a free consultation.

Definition of Assault on Police Officer- Florida Law

The offense of Assault on a Police Officer is defined under Section 784.07(2)(a), Florida Statutes. Under the statute, Assault on a Police Officer consists of six factual elements:

  1. The accused intentionally and unlawfully threatened, by word or act, to do violence to the alleged victim;
  2. At the time the threat was made, the accused appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat;
  3. The accused’s threat created in the mind of the alleged victim a well-founded fear that the violence was about to take place;
  4. The alleged victim was a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical care provider, or other designated official (defined in Section 784.07);
  5. The accused knew the alleged victim was a law enforcement officer or other designated official (including firefighters and EMT’s);
  6. At the time of the assault, the alleged victim was engaged in the lawful performance of his or her duties.

Where a simple assault occurs against a police officer, Section 784.07 mandates that offense be reclassified from a second degree misdemeanor (the ordinary classification for simple assault cases) to a first degree misdemeanor. Where the facts support an allegation of aggravated assault on the police officer, the offense will be reclassified from a third degree felony to a second degree felony.

Penalties for Assaulting a Police Officer- Florida

In Florida, a Simple Assault on a Police Officer carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail or 12 months probation, along with a potential $1,000.00 fine.  If the charge is Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer (or other designated official), the maximum penalty increases to fifteen years in jail and a $10,000.00 fine.  Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer carries a minimum mandatory jail sentence of three years.  

Other Enhanced Assaults on Public Officers or Employees

The enhanced assault penalties outlined in Section 784.07, Florida Statutes, are applicable to numerous types of public officers or employees.  These officers and employees include the following:

Defenses to Assault on Law Enforcement- Florida Law

As with most other assault charges in Florida, there are many defenses available to contest a charge of Assault on a Police Officer.  These defenses can include, but are not limited to, the following:

Assault on a Police Officer in Florida is a serious offense and will be aggressively prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney.  If you have been accused, you may have defenses available to contest the charge or to minimize the potential penalties.  Contact our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney today for a free consultation.