What is the Penalty for Assaulting a Police Officer?
What is the penalty for assaulting a police officer? Assault is a serious crime in itself, according to Michigan law. However, assaulting a law enforcement officer is considered a highly serious charge that’s complex to fight in court. These crimes are charged far more harshly than a standard assault crime.
This charge, under MCL 750.81d, describes not only assault and battery, but also resisting, obstructing or opposing a “person performing duty.” Additionally, “obstruct” includes:
(7)(a) … the use or threatened use of physical interference or force or a knowing failure to comply with a lawful command.
For instance, if a police officer ordered you to roll down your window in a traffic stop and you ignored them, that would potentially be obstructing the officer. That act itself just took what could’ve been a simple mistake to a class C felony.
Penalties for assaulting an officer
So what is the penalty for assaulting a police officer? An individual who assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes, or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his or her duties is guilty of a felony punishable:
Up to 2 years in prison, or a
fine up to $2,000, or both.
Slight physical contact falls under this charge. Furthermore, it could mean shoving or even poking an officer. However, the penalties severely increase if injury is inflicted. If a person causes bodily injury requiring medical attention/care to an officer, that person is guilty of a felony punishable:
Up to 4 years in prison, or a
up to $5,000 fine, or both
If serious impairment of bodily function is caused, harsher penalties will be given. Your time in prison will increase to up to 15 years or you may be ordered to pay a fine up to $10,000, or both.
If an individual inflicts injuries causing death to the officer, the individual is guilty of a felony punishable:
Up to 20 years in prison, or a
fine up to $20,000, or both
Definition of an officer
Police officers are not the only ones who fall under a “person performing duty.” According to this statute, this includes the following:
A conservation officer of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or the Department of Environmental Quality
A sheriff or deputy sheriff
A Secret Service or Department of Justice agent
Any emergency medical service personnel
An individual engaged in a search and rescue operation as that term is defined in section 50c
The most common altercation that results in assaulting an officer charge is when someone is pulled over for drunk driving or reckless driving and doesn’t “comply” with the officer’s commands.
It gets tricky to defend this charge when there is bodily injury or emergency responder testimony. Regardless, the dash cam and body cam video is extremely important in preparing a solid strategy to fight this offense. This is why you need a skilled assault lawyer who understands the evidence and isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions.
Contact an assault attorney today
Since this offense is highly complex, it is vital to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A skilled lawyer will not advise you to plead guilty on the get-go. Rather, they will help navigate the court process and prepare a foolproof defense to fight this charge.
Attorney Morris is trial lawyer who has been providing high-quality legal representation in the areas of state and federal criminal defense for more than 20 years. He’s known for his trial preparation by fellow attorneys, judges and clients alike. As a trial attorney, he’s dedicated to attaining justice in every case, and is always prepared to successfully take on complex legal issues. Barton and his law firm pride themselves on obtaining results for their clients that other attorneys cannot.
Not only does Barton Morris have extensive experience, he also engages in continuing legal education to provide the highest quality legal services. Barton has received specialized scientific training through the American Chemical Society, and is the only forensic lawyer-scientist in Michigan. He attended the prestigious Trial Lawyers College and serves on its Alumni Association Board of Directors. Barton Morris is also a board member of several distinguished legal associations including the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys, and the DUI Defense Lawyer’s Association Justice Foundation. He’s also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and has graduated from their National Criminal Defense Trial College in Macon, Georgia.
Barton Morris is consistently chosen as a Top Lawyer of Metro Detroit and for DUI/OWI and criminal defense by DBusiness Magazine and Hour Magazine. He has also been chosen as a Super Lawyer in Criminal Defense.