Stamford Assault on an Officer Lawyer
It does not take much for Stamford Connecticut police to tack on an Assault on a Police Officer charge to any Stamford arrest. Any resistance between an arresting officer and a suspect or witness can sometimes lead to circumstances where an individual believes they are acting in self-defense but is mistakenly viewed as a threat by police.
As many experienced Stamford assault lawyers know, the result can be a felony assault on an officer charge, with significant consequences to both your criminal record and professional (and online) reputation.
Connecticut’s Assault on Police Officer Statute
The criminal statute giving rise to a Stamford arrest for Assault on a police officer—CGS 53a-167c—gives the arresting officer wide discretion in deciding whether an offense has been committed. If an individual has been arrested in Stamford for assault on a police officer, they should meet with an attorney who is well-versed in this area of law and can start right away to help preserve evidence, build a solid defense, and work toward the best possible resolution of their case.
Defining Assault Conduct
CGS 53a-167c lays out 5 different scenarios which will be considered an assault on an officer. However, the first instance is the most common and the one most people think of in connection with the offense.
As any of the top Stamford Connecticut criminal law firms can explain to you, you can get arrested in Stamford for Assault on a Police Officer when any one of the following scenarios take place, but police must prove that you are acting with the intent of preventing the officer from performing official duties:
- Causing physical injury to the officer
- Throwing a rock, bottle or any other object capable of causing damage at an officer
- Subjecting an officer to tear gas or a similar agent
- Throwing a substance that causing stains or is otherwise noxious at an officer
- Throwing any bodily fluid at an officer
Note the statute does not require the injury suffered to be serious; in fact, there is no description at all (Connecticut case law just requires some type of physical “pain” to be suffered). Simply causing pain may be enough to trigger an arrest.
However, because an injury is a key element of this section of the statute, it is a necessary element of the crime that should be thoroughly investigated by your top Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyer attorney.
Which First Responders are Protected
While CGS § 53a-167c most frequently arises in cases where an assault is alleged against a police officer, the statute specifically states that many other public officers and employees are included. While the offense is often termed “assault on a police officer,” it actually refers to a wider range of Stamford first responders.
The list of applicable police and peace officers covered by the statute includes:
- Emergency medical personnel, both mobile and in hospitals
- Public transit employees
- Probation officers
- Department of Children and Families employees
- Liquor control agents
- Vehicle inspectors
- Judicial and Parole Board employees
Proving Intent for Assault on Police Officer Arrests
All of the scenarios described in CGS § 53a-167 require an individual to be acting with specific intent in order for a Stamford arrest for Assault on a Police Officer to occur. In other words, the individual must deliberately intend to prevent the officer from performing his duties in order for the individual’s conduct to constitute a violation.
The court evaluates whether such intent existed based on the evidence presented, including statements made and actions taken by the parties involved. It is vital to preserve as much evidence as possible, especially digital surveillance evidence.
Penalties for a Stamford Assault on an Officer Arrest
Assault on an officer is classified as a Class C felony in Connecticut. This type of felony is punishable by a sentence of up to 10 years in jail. Those convicted may also be required to pay a fine of up to $10,000 as well.
Contacting a Lawyer
Video evidence that could prove critical to your defense may not be available for long unless quick action is taken to preserve this evidence. Therefore, it is essential for those who have been charged with assault on an officer to consult with an attorney experienced in this area of law as soon as possible.
A knowledgeable Stamford assault lawyer can file motions to preserve evidence and start building the optimum defense right away.