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Defense for Assault on an Officer in Michigan

If you need to build a defense for assault on an officer in Michigan, contact an experienced assault lawyer today to guide and advise you throughout the process. These cases are taken very seriously, as the courts do not want to set a precedent for disrespecting law enforcement officials.

Therefore, it is especially important to work with a local attorney who has firsthand experience with the judges and prosecuting attorneys who will be presiding over and presenting in your case.

What to Expect

Whether the alleged assault was against a civilian or an officer, the accused will be granted the same due process, including burden of proof resting on the prosecution, just like any other criminal case.

However, juries, judges and prosecutors take these crimes against officers much more seriously. In part this is because of the importance society places on the rule of law, and the role of the police officer in enforcement of the rule of law.

Also, settlements through plea negotiations will require the consent of the police officer if there is any kind of any plea bargaining going on. They look to them as far as what they would allow as far as a plea bargain goes. That does happen in regular assault and battery cases.

Role of Official Capacity

If the person being charged did not know or did not have reason to know that the officer was a police officer, then this should have been charged as a lesser crime. The reason is because the person did not know or did not have reason to know that the officer was discharging their duties. If a person does not know about that, then that is a significant barrier for the prosecution.

Legally, it does make a difference when the person assaulted is, at the time of the assault, acting in that capacity. So, if someone is off duty and not acting in that capacity in any way, if they are in plain clothes and they pull out a badge, then there is at least a question as to whether they are performing their duties above and beyond just being a person in street clothes.

Police Body Cameras

In these cases, police body cameras would be highly beneficial to the accused when building a defense for assault on an officer in Michigan. These crimes tend to occur in the backdrop of a highly-emotional interaction. Because of that, people, including police officers, to remember things differently than what really happened. Without a camera a police officer might testify to things that never really happened.

Thus, a recording will help keep the police honest, even when they have no intent to lie. A camera and recording would also impact what the jury would see as far as the actions of the police officer and the actions of the person being charged, so that they would see what might be reasonable or not reasonable, whether the person was acting in self-defense, whether the officer was acting more aggressively and the person needed to defend themselves from harm.

Body cameras are always a benefit to being able to see what happened in a non-biased way. It can be very helpful in a lot of cases. Sometimes, it can harm a case, for instance, when it shows how things happened, but helpful because it would show all the evidence.

Potential Defenses

When it comes to potential defenses, the reasonableness of whether someone should have known that the officer was discharging their duties is important. Self-defense if the police officer was acting outside in the scope of their duties and being too aggressive could be a defense, as well.

The defense will examine all possible avenues, asking questions such as ‘Did the defendant really disobey the officer?’ ‘Did they really do what was said?’ There can be some different factual questions as to whether there was an assault, battery, or obstruction. These are all things to consider and see where the facts of the case lead.  Also, the degree of injury is something the can often be contested to the benefit of the accused.

How an Attorney Can Help

When it comes to building a proper defense for assault on an officer in Michigan, the most important thing you can do to help your case is to hire an attorney with years of experience in this specific area of the law. An experienced attorney will be familiar with the local nuances of the laws and legal system, as well as the weaknesses of the prosecuting attorneys, and the tendencies of the judge overseeing the case.

In addition, a defense attorney will be able to access better resources when it comes to collecting evidence and gathering the facts, thus ensuring that the best available case can be compiled on your behalf.