Battery on a Police Officer - Penal Code 243(b) & 243(c) PC
Because it involved a law enforcement officer, I find that the police put a lot of pressure on the prosecutors to punish these offenders harshly. Also, the judges will be looking to punish a defendant much harsher than a regular citizen involved in a battery case.
So, you really have to pull out all the stops in these cases as a criminal defense attorney – do the investigation that his necessary. What I find crucial is getting your client's version of events out there, because a lot of times in these cases the police are very unfair, very one-sided, don't listen to what anybody else says and just have one little version of events that helps the police right down the line.
So, giving your version of events is crucial because a lot of times the police don't get your version of events, so the prosecutors don't know, the police don't know and obviously if you're going to go to jury trial you're going to want to make sure the jury knows what actually happened.
Of course, getting your version of events out there is only half the battle. We're going to have to do an investigation so that we can get some evidence to support your version of events because the police obviously come with instant credibility to a lot of people like judges and prosecutors, and even juries to a big degree.
So, if you want to combat that we're going to have to do the investigation and the work to show that your version of events are more believable, more likely and is what actually happened in the case if we're going to be successful in a case that involves battery on a police officer allegation.
Legal Penalties for Battery on a Police Officer
I would say in all these cases that I've done over the course of the last twenty-five years, the first thing out of the prosecutor's mouth, if you struck a police officer – they want jail time and sometimes they even want prison time if you have a bad record and you did anything to the police officer.
So, to combat that we're going to either need to show, wait a minute, this is not how it happened. The police over-reacted.
The police went too far in the performance of their duty and that's why there was some sort of physical violence.
Not because of anything that you did. So, it's crucial to be able to show the other side of the story because in addition to jail time, if you're charged with a felony, you could lose your rights to bear arms, your right to vote.
There's a host of other things that they can do – take away rights that you're used to having – but because you've done this to a police officer from their prospective, they're going to pull out all the stops to not only punish you, but to restrict you in a lot of different ways.
Legal Defenses for Battery on a Police Officer
Well, one of the biggest defenses that I've seen is that first off, it's self-defense. The police attacked me. I wasn't doing anything wrong. They weren't even called out to deal with me and somehow, they decided they wanted to get violent with me and then when I tried to defend myself, I'm charged and arrested for battery on a police officer.
So, certainly that's one defense I see all the time. An even more sophisticated defense and it makes sense is to argue, wait a minute, these guys were even in the performance of their duties when they did what they did.
They got involved in some personal argument and they went above and beyond their duties as police officers in order to engage me in a fight and when I defended myself, all of a sudden here they all come.
They handcuff me and say that I've done something criminal. And you know, there's a huge incentive for the police to do this with all the political stuff going on right now and backlash.
Any time the police have to get physical with somebody – man I've seen them pencil-web them to death – put all kinds of bad information in there and it really simply isn't fair because the police are just trying to protect themselves, but on the flip side that's doing horrible damage to somebody who really didn't do that much and maybe in a lot of cases was within their rights in whatever did happen.
Attorney Who Knows How To Fight These Cases
So, in order to turn the tide of this situation, you're going to need to get a good criminal defense attorney who's been down this road, who's had success, who knows how to fight these cases.
When I meet with people on these cases, I tell them to give me all the information. Don't leave anything out. Even give it to me from the police and prosecutor's standpoint because then at least I can see what they're going to say and then once I have all that information, then we call really sit down, get down to the nitty-gritty of what happened and decide what we're going to do in your defense.
Because once we have that plan in place then we can really get some things done and be successful on your behalf.
If you did do something wrong and they've just over-emphasized it and they've just gone too far with the charges and they're trying to get too much of a penalty, then obviously we're going to have to get character letters and show this is an aberration.
It's never going to happen again and show the judge and the prosecutor all the good things about you and show them the other side of the coin so that we can get the result that you must have to get you out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible, get this off your record, preserve your freedom, preserve your rights and preserve your reputation moving forward.