During an ordinary traffic stop, perhaps you were detained under suspicion of DUI. When the officer started to cuff you, a simple brush against the officer compelled them to use excessive force to keep you detained. Misunderstandings like this (and many other encounters) lead to resisting arrest and assault or even battery on a police officer charges quite frequently, both which carry stiff penalties if found guilty in court.
Pratt Law, LLC understands many arrests, assaults, and other physical acts toward people aren't always as they seem. Police reports rarely show what may have compelled the defendant to move, turn or appear to be resisting or hurting an officer. Unfortunately, individuals may find themselves facing not only one offense, but two additional offenses that they feel aren't warranted.
Resisting arrest and assaulting or battering a police officer can have serious implications on your freedom and your livelihood. Contact us today at (316) 262-2600 to discuss your situation and let me put my experience to work for you.
Resisting Arrest Laws
The crime of interference with law enforcement is addressed in Article 59 of Kansas Statutes. Accordingly, 21-5904a makes it illegal to:
- Falsely report crimes, or convey to law enforcement that a criminal act took place when, in fact, it didn't;
- Falsely report the death or disappearance of any minor child under 13;
- Resist, obstruct, or otherwise interfere with an officer attempting to serve process, execute court orders, serve warrants or perform their duty at any official capacity.
The charge of resisting arrest can, depending on the circumstances, lead an officer to charge a person with a felony or a misdemeanor.
Assault and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer Laws
To be charged with assault on a police officer under 21-5412(c), defendants must have:
- Committed the act of assault as defined under 21-5412(a), but against an officer or uniformed official working at city, county, or state capacity, and that officer is actively engaged in their duty; or
- Committed assault on an officer working on campus or a college.
Aggravated assault on a police officer entails the above, but by use of weapon, during the commission of a felony, or in any manner that disguises the appearance of the assailant.
In order for the state to charge you with battery on a law enforcement officer under 21-5413(c), they must prove you:
- Knowingly or recklessly caused bodily harm to an officer at the state, county, or city level; or
- Induced contact with an officer in a rude, angry, or insulting manner;
Under subsection (d), a person who commits aggravated battery against a law enforcement officer must be proven to have:
- Caused great bodily harm or disfigurement to an officer at the state, county, or city level; or
- Caused great bodily harm with a weapon; or
- Induced contact with an officer while wielding a weapon in a rude, insulting, or angry manner.
One possible defense to the crime of battery or aggravated battery against a law enforcement officer is if an individual did not know, or had no reasonably way of discovering, that the individual was a law enforcement officer.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest and Assault on a Police Officer
If enough evidence is presented to secure a conviction against you for either charge, expect prosecution to suggest the following sentences under Kansas law:
Sentencing guidelines for those convicted of resisting arrest mean defendants face:
- Level 9 nonperson felony if the underlying charge which the defendant resisted arrest for was a felony or parole violation, which carries 5 to 7 months incarceration and fine not to exceed $100,000; or
- Class A nonperson misdemeanor if the charge was a misdemeanor or civil case, punishable by 12 months in jail and fine up to $2,500.
Assault on a Police Officer
If convicted of simple or aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, charges may include:
- Class A person misdemeanor for simple assault, which carries 12 months in jail and fine of $2,500; or
- Level 6 person felony if aggravated, carrying a prison term up to 46 months and up to $100,000 in fines.
Battery on a Police Officer
Those convicted of battery on a law enforcement officer may face the following:
- Class A person misdemeanor for simple battery, carrying a sentence of 12 months and fine up to $2,500;
- Level 7 person felony if battery was on a judge, campus officer, or properly identified city, state, or county officer, which carries up to 34 months in prison and fines;
- Level 5 person felony if committed against an adult or juvenile corrections officer, or an employee of such facility, carrying up to 136 months in prison and fines;
- Level 4 person felony if aggravated, and against judges, campus officers, corrections officers or a correctional facility staff member, or state, county, or city law enforcement; this carries up to 172 months in prison, and fines; or
- Level 3 person felony if the aggravated battery was committed against officials above except by use of a motor vehicle, carrying up to 247 months in prison and fines.
Something to Keep in Mind During Sentencing
Persons with lengthy criminal histories can expect little sympathy from prosecutors and judges if convicted of assault on a police officer or resisting arrest. Pratt Law, LLC makes every attempt to defend their clients when convicted of these crimes, and normally secures favorable outcomes through plea bargaining.
During the sentencing hearing, raising mitigating circumstances helps eliminate or minimize the length of incarceration, such as being the sole provider for minor child or primary caregiver for elderly parents.
Potential Defenses to Both Charges
Pratt Law LLC will raise these defenses to help protect the interests of the accused:
- Unlawfully detained. If the arrest was unwarranted or done so against Kansas law, resisting would be nullified by procedural error or police misconduct.
- Failed to identify. Officers who don't identify themselves shouldn't be surprised an individual resists their attempt to arrest. Undercover officers may fall into this category.
- Inadvertent resistance. People who haven't been placed in restraints before could have a natural inclination to resist without attempting to flee or break free, although the arresting officer may not agree.
- Self-defense. Individuals are allowed to defend themselves against police brutality. Excessive force could turn lawful arrests into unlawful detainers. In this scenario, arrestees must have acted reasonably to stop the excessive use of force for this defense to be used effectively.
- False allegations. Freely speaking your mind doesn't not qualify under Kansas law as good cause for holding someone on charges of resisting arrest. However, some statements or phrases may anger officers and cause them to file these charges.
Assault or Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer
- Unintentional contact. Persons may not have wanted to, or tried to, make contact with an officer. Simple assaults require minimal contact for one to be charged under K.S.A.
- Did not identify. Officers who fail to identify themselves by not wearing department-issued uniform, showing their shield, or verbally announcing they're police cannot expect charges of assault on police to stick.
- Induced by another. If an individual pushes someone and they fall into an officer, the defendant couldn't be charged unless their intention was to induce harm to the officer.
- Lacks aggravating circumstances. If prosecutors can't prove identity concealment, the use of weapon, or an attempt to participate in another felony, aggravated assault would be reduced to simple assault due to lack of aggravating circumstances.
- Intoxication. An individual who is intoxicated and did not realize the person they assaulted was an officer may use this defense.
Let Pratt Law, LLC Fight These Charges
Assault on a police officer and resisting arrest are criminal charges with serious consequences if convicted. Before arraignment, persons accused of these crimes should contact Pratt Law, LLC immediately to begin planning their defense. If you're incarcerated without bond when the firm is retained, an attorney will discuss holding a bond hearing to establish a cash bond or release on own recognizance.
Intelligent, passionate representation of defendants accused of assaults and resisting arrest is what James Pratt has offered the accused citizen for over two decades. With so much on the line, don't rely on an inexperienced or apathetic lawyer to protect you. Turn to someone who is willing to fight for you and help you get the best outcome possible for your case.
Were you charged with resisting arrest or assault on a police officer in Wichita? Schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case with Pratt Law, LLC by calling (316) 262-2600 , or by reaching out to us online today.