Defending Assault on an Officer Charges in Maryland
If a person is convicted of an assault on a law enforcement officer, that person would be subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years and a fine not exceeding $5,000. If you are being charged with assault on an officer, contact a Maryland assault on an officer lawyer immediately to understand the steps you need to take.
Burden of Proof
There are several elements that the state would have to prove. First, they would have to prove that the defendant intentionally caused physical injury to the officer. They also would have to prove that the alleged victim was engaged in a performance of official duties, which includes law enforcement officers as well as probation agents, parole agents, firefighters, and EMTs.
Next, the state would have to prove that the defendant knew or had reason to know that the victim was a law enforcement officer, probation agent, or firefighter and had reason to know that the person was engaged in the performance of official duties. In this context, the physical injury means more than just a minor injury. Physical injury would have to be more extensive than something minor.
Police Body Cameras
The camera is a completely neutral witness to charges on whatever takes place during a possible assault on an officer in Maryland. The video can either confirm what the officer is alleging or the video may show something different if the officer is not being forthright about what happened.
Quite a few body camera videos are being used in court and there are still a lot of issues with them. One of the biggest issues is that if the camera is not pointed in the right direction or is turned off, it is of no help. It is still possible to manipulate a body camera because officers can decide when to have it on and when to have it off. Hopefully, there are policies and procedures from their agency that require them to have it on all the time and that it would be a violation for them to turn it off and on, but it can happen.
It is still possible to manipulate a body camera because officers can decide when to have it on and when to have it off. Hopefully, there are policies and procedures from their agency that require them to have it on all the time and that it would be a violation for them to turn it off and on, but it can happen. This evidence can be used when defending an assault on an officer charge in Maryland.
Building a Defense
One of the biggest distinctions between assaulting a law enforcement officer and assaulting anybody else is that an assault on any other person can be done without there having to be some sort of significant physical injury to another person.
If a person is not a law enforcement officer, that person is having an argument, and the person grabbed the officer by the arm, it is an assault because they touched the officer without permission. They could also be convicted of an assault if an individual made the person believe that they were about to assault them.
To be convicted of assaulting a police officer, there has to be an intended physical injury and it has to be more than just a minor injury to be charged. For example, assaulting a police officer in which they get a cut or abrasion that only needs a little bit of first aid is not going to rise to the level of injury necessary to be convicted of assaulting a law enforcement officer.
One of the biggest defenses to raise in an assault on an officer charge in Maryland is an intentional physical injury that meets the definition required under the law. Another relevant defense in Maryland assault on officer charges is whether the defendant knew that this person was a law enforcement officer or a probation agent. They must also determine whether that person was performing their official duty in that role. Most of the time there is clear evidence, like if a police officer is in uniform with a badge. However, it is a little bit gray when talking about people who may not be wearing a uniform.
These people want to make sure that they are identified for a lot of reasons. The public would need to know if they are an EMT or a firefighter, which is why they wear uniforms, shirts, or jackets that identify who they are. Sometimes it is not that clear, especially for parole and probation agents. They would need to display their credentials.
Types of Cases
The case would be handled in court with the standard options available to the defensible, but with the additional element of a public servant. Judges look at that in a bit of a harsher light.
There is a stigma related to being charged with assaulting someone like a police officer or a firefighter trying to do their job in Maryland. Most judges would find that to be particularly egregious. Judges are going to have a problem with anybody assaulting anybody else if it is not just justified. Any individual charged with such a crime should be sure to hire an attorney to best defend against their Maryland assault on an officer charge.