Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer in Virginia
Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer in Virginia under Va. Code 18.2-57(C) is a felony and is punished with a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 6 months up to 5 years in prison. This legal guide discusses how an offender can be convicted of Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer in Virginia
Assault and BatteryAssault in Virginia is threatening to commit or attempting to commit a battery. A Battery is touching another person in a harmful or offensive manner, without legal justification or excuse. The touching can even be done by setting in motion an object that makes contact with another person. Therefore, threatening a harmful or offensive touching or attempting to touch another person in a harmful or offensive manner is an Assault in Virginia.
Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer in Virginia (Va. Code 18.2-57(C)) is committed when a person threatens a law enforcement officer with a harmful or offensive touching or attempts to commit a Battery on a law enforcement officer. A Battery does not need to actually be committed to convict an offender of Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer in Virginia.
Law Enforcement OfficerThe victim of the assault and/or battery must be a law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of his public duties. If the offender knew (or even should have known) that the victim was a law enforcement officer, he can be convicted of Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer in Virginia.
Va. Code 18.2-57(C) contains a list of various jobs that are considered law enforcement for purposes of this charge. A law enforcement officer is any full-time or part-time employee of a police department or sheriff*s office that is part of or administered by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof who is responsible for the prevention or detection of crime and the enforcement of the penal, traffic or highway laws of the Commonwealth; any conservation officer of the Department of Conservation and Recreation; any special agent of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority; conservation police officers; full-time sworn members of the enforcement division of the Department of Motor Vehicles; any employee with internal investigations authority designated by the Department of Corrections, including jail officers in local and regional correctional facilities; all deputy sheriffs; auxiliary police officers; auxiliary deputy sheriffs; police officers of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; and fire marshals when such fire marshals have police powers.
Performance of Public DutiesThe law enforcement officer must be engaged in the performance of his public duties in order to charge the offender with Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer in Virginia.