When the Target of a Battery is a Police Officer—The Impact This Has on the Charges
In September 2021, Vauhxx Booker was arrested for allegedly assaulting an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officer while officers responded to an incident. According to news reports, IMPD officers were called to the scene as Booker was allegedly intoxicated and acting in an abusive manner. While the police were gathering information for their report, Booker reportedly “put his chest into an officer, knocking him back.” The police immediately cuffed and arrested Booker, and Booker was later charged with “battery of a public safety official.”
The Booker case is a good reminder that the nature of a battery charge can depend on who was the target of the contact. And that is especially true if the alleged victim was a police officer.
Battery of a Police Officer, Defined
Under Title 35 of Indiana state law, generally speaking, battery is defined as when someone “(1) touches another person in a rude, insolent, or angry manner.” This simple battery is a Class B misdemeanor; however, if the offense is committed against a police officer while engaged in their official duty, then it is a Level 6 felony. Furthermore, if the contact resulted in the police officer’s injury, it rises to a Level 5 felony.
Punishment for Battery of a Police Officer
A Class B misdemeanor battery can bring with it a punishment of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, the repercussions for the battery of a police officer are significantly more serious—both in terms of sentencing and the financial penalty.
A person convicted for a Level 6 Felony faces a prison sentence of between six months and three years, while the statute advises that the sentence should be one and a half years. A Level 5 Felony battery may result in a prison term of 1-6 years, with the statutory advisory recommendation being for a three-year prison sentence.
Additionally, the person may be fined up to $10,000 for a Level 5 or 6 Felony.
Think of it this way: The exact same act can result in as much as double, triple, or even ten times as much punishment, depending on who was the intended victim.
Understanding how the victim’s status or other factors can impact your case is crucial. That’s why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side as soon as possible, so contact Razumich & Associates today for a free case evaluation.