What is felony assault on a law enforcement?
Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer is the same conduct as a misdemeanor Assault & Battery described here.
However, if a person commits an assault and battery against another knowing or having reason to know that such other person is a judge, a magistrate, a law-enforcement officer, a correctional officer, etc., they are guilty of a Class 6 Felony. See, Va. Code § 18.2-57(c).
This is a serious offense, but the conduct giving rise to the charge does not need to be particularly egregious or dangerous. Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer is commonly charged along with Obstruction, and can involve minimal conduct, even spitting.
How is assault on a law enforcement punished?
Unlike simple assault, this is not a misdemeanor in Virginia. Instead it is punished as a class 6 felony. It also carries a mandatory minimum term of six months in jail.
What does the Commonwealth have to prove against you?
They have to prove two things against you—first, that an assault occurred and second, that you knew or had reason to know that the person you were assaulting was a police officer.
Should you hire an attorney?
Yes. As you can see the Commonwealth has a heavy burden to prove both aspects of the charge against you beyond a reasonable doubt. There are many defenses to an assault charge against a police officer. You should contact an attorney who can assess the specific facts of your case and find defenses fit for your case. Our office has successfully defended clients against this charge and have gotten a range of results; from complete dismissal to bringing this charge down to a lesser misdemeanor. Contact our office today to get a free consultation.
Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how our Criminal Defense Attorneys can advocate for you in courts across Northern Virginia.
Our Virginia criminal defense attorney can help those accused of felony assault throughout Northern Virginia including Alexandria, Arlington, & Fairfax.