What is Assault on a Police Officer in DC

What is Assault on a Police officer in DC

So what is assault on a police officer?   Assault on a Police Officer (APO) can be a misdemeanor or a Felony pursuant to DC Code § 22–405 Generallyto prove assault on a police officer (APO) the government must prove assault (See our article on Assault) as well the defendant knew or should have known the victim was a police officer.    

Can I use Self Defense a defense to Assault on a Police Officer?

No self-defense is unavailable against a police officer unless “excessive force [is used] in carrying out official duties.”  Furthermore, the Court has held that simple assault is a lesser included charge of APO such that “when an individual is approached by a police officer acting in an official capacity, the individual’s right of self-defense is limited.

What is Maximum Penalty for Assault on a Police Officer in the District of Columbia?

The maximum penalty for misdemeanor assault on a police officer is 6 months and/or $1000.00 dollar fine.

The maximum penalty for felony assault on a police officer is 10 years and/or $25,000.00 dollar fine. 

What is difference from Misdemeanor APO and Felony APO in DC

In order to be convicted of Misdemeanor APO the Government must show that you assaulted a police officer and that the Defendant knew he/she was a police officer.    For Felony APO  the prosecutor must also prove that misdemeanor APO plus causes significant bodily injury to the law enforcement officer, or commits a violent act that creates a grave risk of causing significant bodily injury to the officer.  

Could I get Diversion for simple assault in DC?

Some people charged with misdemeanor APO in DC are eligible for diversion. Diversion is a way to
dismiss the case without a getting a conviction and having a criminal Record. You need to make
sure you discuss different diversion options with a simple assault defense attorney because it can
still have deportation  even if you not convicted.

Is Spitting on a Police Officer an Assault?

Yes, spitting on a police officer is considered an assault.   The Court has held that it is an assault when the assaultive act is merely offensive, even though it causes or threatens no actual physical harm to the victim.

If I pull away while the police officer is handcuffing me, Can I be charged with APO?

The Court has held that “the little bit of wiggling and pulling away” after being restrained in handcuffs is insufficient to constitute “resisting” under the APO statute.   

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