Battery Of A Peace Officer In Tustin, CA
In the State of California, there is a special class of professional that has unique protections against battery. These are referred to as “peace officers.” If you are charged with a battery (i.e., the willful and unlawful infliction of force or violence on another person) and the victim happens to be a peace officer, your charges may be enhanced—that is, made more serious—and may therefore come with more serious potential consequences.
What Is A Peace Officer?
Peace officers are a class of professional that include:
- Police officers
- Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)
- California Highway Patrol officers
- Animal Control officers
- Process servers
- Security guards
- Probation officers
In order to charge you with battery on a peace officer, the prosecution needs to prove certain specific facts. These are referred to as “elements” and must be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. They must prove:
- That the victim of the crime in question was a peace officer who was, at the time that the crime was committed, in the process of performing the duties of their role.
- That you (the defendant) willfully and unlawfully touched the victim in a way that was harmful or offensive.
- That when you committed the act, you (the defendant) knew, or should have reasonably been expected to know, that the victim was a peace officer and that they were performing their duties at that time.
Importantly, by this definition, many actions can be qualified as “battery”—even the slightest physical contact—so long as the officer feels it was done in a way that was “harmful and offensive”, which can simply mean angry, or rude, or whatever else the officer might feel harmed or offended by.
In addition, you personally don’t have to have touched the officer if you caused an object to touch or make impact with the officer (i.e., if you threw something at them and hit them).
What Are The Penalties For Battery On A Peace Officer In Tustin, CA?
In Tustin, CA, your average simple battery charge would usually be considered a misdemeanor, with a relatively short jail stay (if any), a relatively small fine, and a relatively short probation length.
The same is roughly true for most cases of battery on a peace officer, so long as the officer is not injured. If the officer in question is not injured, you will likely only face a misdemeanor charge, with up to a year in county jail and up to $2,000 in fines.
However, if the officer is injured, the charge can become much more serious. If the battery causes an injury to the officer, it becomes a “wobbler”, or a crime that the prosecutor has the discretion to charge as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case and the defendant’s criminal history.
If you are charged with felony battery on a peace officer, you may be looking at up to three years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.
Have you or a loved one been charged with battery on a peace officer in Tustin, CA? If so, you will need an experienced, knowledgeable Tustin criminal defense attorney to make your best possible case against conviction and harsh sentencing. Attorney Edward R. Flores and the team at the Flores Law Group, a Professional Corporation, are here to help. Call for a free consultation on your case today.