Proving Assault on an Officer in Fort Worth
Assault may be defined as intentionally knowing of or recklessly causing bodily injury. An accusation of assault against a police officer is a serious offense that could lead to life-long consequences. As a result of this, prosecutors may be tougher with these cases because of the relationship with the police department, which could make proving assault on an officer in Fort Worth their priority.
The penalties for assault on an officer or public servant could range from two to ten years of incarceration and up to $10,000 in fines. The assault could change to a first-degree felony when a deadly weapon is involved with penalties of five years to life in prison and fines. If you have been accused of this offense, it may be important for your case to discuss the next steps with a skilled assault attorney.
Assault of an Off-Duty Police Officer
For proving assault on an officer in Fort Worth, the law requires a person to be in their official capacity and have it be obvious that they are doing so. If someone does not know they are fighting with a police officer or a judge and the public servant is not acting in that capacity, the assault is just an assault. It is a Class A level misdemeanor if the individual is working in their capacity, and the defendant knows and causes bodily injury.
Elements of a Prosecution of an Officer Assault Case
The elements that Fort Worth prosecutors may need for proving assault on an officer in Fort Worth are the same elements needed to prove an assault on a lay-person. The only added element is that the individual was a public servant, such as a judge or police officer. The main evidence may be the public servant’s testimony.
Use of Police Body Cameras
Police body cameras may help when trying to argue whether an action was intentional. There is a difference between assaulting a police officer and resisting. When someone resists arrest and does not cooperate with the police officer and the officer is injured, the prosecutor might claim assault.
This claim may be made because the bodily injury was caused, yet it may not be a valid claim as a result of the circumstances. The body camera may show there was no intent to cause bodily injury. The video could help prove the intent at the time of the assault and what took place to clarify the different versions of the story.
Mitigating Factors That a Fort Worth Assault Lawyer Could Use
Self-defense could still be used as being a police officer does not negate an individual’s right to self-defense or defense of others. The lack of knowledge of someone being a police officer may also be a reasonable defense. The severity of the injury of the public servant could be an issue as well.
Sometimes public servants like police officers and EMT personnel could be injured in the course of doing their job, which could serve as a defense for the defendant as well. By working with a Fort Worth officer assault attorney, you could gain the counsel of someone who may be experienced dealing with a case like yours and understanding potential mitigating factors.