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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Bucks County Assault on an Officer Lawyer

Assault on an officer in Bucks County is a very common charge that occurs when an individual attempts to cause or actually causes bodily injury to an officer, who is a member of a protected class. The exception would be that serious bodily injury is caused to the officer thereby raising the charge to an aggravated assault felony in the first degree. In either case, the courts take these charges very seriously, and it is essential for a defendant to have strong legal representation from an experienced assault lawyer. A skilled Bucks County assault on an officer lawyer is essential in fighting your charges.

Common Behaviors Charged

In cases where felonies of the second degree are prosecuted because a police officer is the plaintiff, there is often a sense of urgency when dealing with such a crime. Society in general, and by extension the local county, looks to protect its officers or public servants from being abused or attacked.

Any sort of resisting arrest can be presented as attacks in court. Such behaviors include but are not limited to:

  • Punching
  • Scratching
  • Attempting to bite
  • Kicking

When these actions are directed at a law enforcement officer, they are often charged as an aggravated assault felony in the second degree. However, there are some exceptions.

Should an individual merely be trying to get away and the officer or officers chasing them trip and injure themselves, a proper defense can be raised against an aggravated assault felony in the second degree.

Law Enforcement Perspective

When the person bringing the charge is a police officer, Bucks County looks to protect its civil servants and consequently seeks to punish those who put their civil servants in harm’s way.

Additionally, any other protected classes are protected in the same fashion. These include any number of public servants, such as:

  • Medical professionals
  • Firefighters
  • Judges
  • Prosecutors
  • Public defenders

In Bucks County, this is taken to an even higher level. This particular jurisdiction, being a very conservative county, often particularly holds police officers and other public servants in very high esteem. Therefore, any sort of crime which targets them is seen by the courts as a crime of defiance that is treated harshly because of the consequences it has on such civil servants.

Limits on the Applicability of the Charge

The crime of aggravated assault graded as a felony in the second degree only applies to protected classes when two criteria are met:

  • The officer has been identified as such, and
  • The assault takes place while they are acting in the course of their duty

The protection does not apply to an off-duty policeman  who gets into a fight with another individual, and the other individual is unaware that the person is a police officer.

In that case, the police officer is not acting in an official capacity. In those cases, they are no longer considered members of a protected class, and as such, can also be charged if they committed an assault. On the other hand, when an officer is not on duty but identifies himself and tries to stop a crime, then an aggravated assault felony of the second degree can be warranted.

Penalties

The penalties for violating assault on an officer laws in Bucks County are those associated with the crime of aggravated assault graded as a felony in the second degree. As such, a person can face up to 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

However, if bodily injury only occurs during certain circumstances, it is highly unlikely that sentences of long periods of incarceration or large fines are proper.

Additionally, an individual who feels that they are acting in self-defense can still raise their affirmative right of self-defense when dealing with a police officer.

How a Bucks County Assault on an Officer Lawyer Can Help

There are many defenses available which can limit and/or reduce the sentences a person would otherwise be facing for an aggravated assault felony of the second degree. A Bucks County assault on an officer lawyer will be best equipped to bring these before the court in arguing your case.