Assault of Law Enforcement Officer (LEO)
Any assault charge is a serious matter, but an alleged offender can expect his or case to be aggressively prosecuted if he or she is accused of assaulting a law enforcement officer (LEO) in Pennsylvania. These alleged crimes are felony offenses and they are taken extremely seriously.
If convicted, an alleged offender could face a lengthy prison sentence as well as steep fines. Anybody facing these charges needs to make sure that he or she is not in a position in which the case is decided based only upon his or her word versus that of the LEO.
Philadelphia Assault of LEO Lawyer
Have you been charged with assault on an LEO in Southeastern Pennsylvania? You will want to make sure that you have skilled legal counsel actively looking out for your best interests.
The assault of law enforcement officer attorneys at Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC fight for clients in Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County as well as New Jersey. Our firm will provide a complete evaluation of your case to help you understand your legal options when you call (215) 665-1695 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Pennsylvania Assault of Law Enforcement Officer Overview
- How might a person be charged with this crime?
- What are the possible consequences if an alleged offender is convicted?
- Are there any defense against these accusations?
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 18 § 2702.1 defines assault of an LEO as a person who attempts to cause or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to an LEO, while in the performance of duty, and with knowledge that the victim is an LEO, by discharging a firearm. This crime is specifically called assault of a law enforcement officer in the first degree and is classified as a first-degree felony.
However, a person can still face felony charges if a firearm is not involved in the incident. A person who attempts to cause or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to any LEO in the performance of duty can be charged with aggravated assault of an LEO, which is a second-degree felony. If the person attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to an LEO while in the performance of duty, this is also a first-degree felony.
AN LEO is defined as any person who by virtue of his office or public employment is vested by law with a duty to maintain public order or to make arrests for offenses, whether that duty extends to all offenses or is limited to specific offenses, or any person on active state duty. It also includes any member of any park police department of any county of the third class. Some examples of LEOs include, but are not limited to:
- Police officers
- Federal, state, and local law enforcement officials
- Sheriffs or deputy sheriffs
- Constables or deputy constables
- County adult and juvenile probation and parole officers
- Officers or employees of correctional institutions, county jails or prisons, juvenile detention centers, or any other facilities to which a person has been ordered by the court pursuant to a petition alleging delinquency
- Emergency medical personnel
- An agent of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole
Additionally, a firearm may mean any weapon, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or the expansion of gas therein.
Generally, the possible punishments associated with convictions depend on the specific classification of the felony:
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines
- First-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines
While a person who is convicted of a first-degree felony is ordinarily subject to a prison sentence of not more than 20 years, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 18 § 2702.1(b) states that a person convicted of assault of a law enforcement officer in the first degree shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment fixed by the court at not more than 40 years.
In Pennsylvania, the judge responsible for sentencing will consider two important numbers when making a decision:
- Offense Gravity Score (OGS) — Every crime is assigned a numerical value under Pennsylvania Code Title 204 §303.15, with higher figures represent more severe crimes. Aggravated assault of an LEO with an attempt to cause or intentionally or knowingly causing bodily injury is a 10, an attempt to cause serious bodily injury is a 10, intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing serious bodily injury is a 11, and an attempt to cause or intentionally or knowingly causing bodily injury by discharging a firearm is a 13.
- Prior Record Score (PRS) — Under Pennsylvania Code Title 204 §303.7, point values between one and five are assigned for an alleged offender’s previous misdemeanor and felony convictions. The numbers assigned to all previous crimes are totaled to calculate an alleged offender’s PRS.
Because prosecutors will usually go hard to have alleged offenders convicted on these charges, it is critical for anybody accused of these crimes to have strong defenses. Some of the possible defenses that can help get charges reduced or dismissed in these cases include, but are not limited to:
- LEO used excessive force during arrest or stop
- LEO was not in the performance of duty
- No intent to harm
- No knowledge that victim was LEO
- Original arrest was unlawful
Find an Assault of Law Enforcement Officer Lawyer in Pennsylvania
If you have been charged with any form of assault of a LEO in Southeastern Pennsylvania, you should not delay in finding skilled legal representation for yourself. Alva & Shuttleworth, LLC helps people all over Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Chester County, and Bucks County as well as New Jersey.
Our assault of law enforcement officer attorneys understand that there is usually much more to these charges than what police and prosecutors will present in court, and we will fully investigate your arrest and make sure you are presented favorably so you have the best chance at getting the most favorable outcome. Call (215) 665-1695 right now to schedule a free consultation that will let our firm review your case.