In Ohio, the crime of committing an assault on a law enforcement officer does not have its own specific charge defined separately from the assault statute. Instead, it is an enhancement to the other assault statutes that give them more serious penalties. While simple assault can be considered a misdemeanor in some instances, assault on certain people, such as police officers, corrections officers, and medics, is always a felony.

When you are facing charges this serious, it is important not to try to take matters into your own hands. Retaining a reputable assault defense attorney can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Reach out to our firm today to speak with our team about a Toledo assault on an officer defense to learn more about how we can help.

Who Is Considered an Officer Under this Law?

Ohio Revised Code 2935.01, which defines a police officer, includes a sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, deputy marshal, and member of the organized police department of any municipal corporation, including members in an adjoining state that comes into Ohio. The list goes on to also include tax collectors and park rangers.

Generally, anyone who carries a badge and has law enforcement powers is protected under Ohio law. There are also other enhancements for first responders and school officials.

What if Someone Is Not Aware of the Officer’s Status?

The person has to know that the person they allegedly assaulted is a police officer or reasonably should have known that the person is a police officer. If they are a plainclothes officer, they would only qualify for the specification after they disclose their status. But after they have disclosed themselves and made a reasonable effort to make their authority known, an enhancement is applicable.

What if the Officer Was Not Acting in an Official Capacity?

This will depend on the circumstances of the situation and whether what the officer is doing becomes enforcement activity. An officer can go from off duty to on duty, even if they are not scheduled to work if they observe a crime and they start to enforce the law. These scenarios can be incredibly complex and need to be professionally analyzed by a Toledo attorney with experience handling similar cases involving assault against a police officer.

Assault on an Officer Penalties

In addition to enhanced penalties, assaulting a police officer comes with certain political disadvantages when defending charges in court. The other officers will typically put in extra effort to gather evidence and secure a conviction and will be less willing to plea the charge down.

Typically, assault charges and penalties will increase by one degree when an officer is involved.

  • Simple assault would go from a first-degree misdemeanor to a fourth-degree felony with six to 18 months of prison time plus other specifications
  • Aggravated assault would go from a fourth-degree to a level third-degree felony with 9 to 36 months in prison, plus other specifications
  • Felonious assault increases from a second-degree felony to a first degree felony

For a first-degree felony assault against a police officer, a defendant faces up to 11 years of prison time and $20,000 in fines with a mandatory minimum sentence of at least three years. Additionally, if a gun is involved, the specifications for that can enhance penalties even further. A Toledo assault on an officer attorney can help someone facing these charges assess the details of their arrest to determine the penalties they may be facing and to strategize the best possible defense.

Work With a Toledo Attorney About an Assault on an Officer Defense

Assault charges on their own can carry harsh penalties and stigmas that can impact every aspect of a person’s life. Facing these charges in connection with a police or other law enforcement officer is even more high stakes and requires legal representation with the knowledge and tenacity to advocate on your behalf to the full extent possible. Reach out to Groth & Associates Attorneys at Law to speak with a Toledo assault on an officer lawyer to begin reviewing your case details.