DC Assault on an Officer Lawyer

While all types of assault are serious offenses under the law, assault on an officer is considered even more severe due to the assault taking place against a protected class of person. For this reason, if you are charged or even accused of assaulting an officer it is imperative you seek the counsel of a DC assault on an officer lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and begin building a defense. An assault attorney in DC can help demonstrate why you are being improperly charged and what you can do to help your situation before the trial even begins. To get started, call and schedule a consultation today.

APO Charges in DC

Assault on a police officer is the general term for several different types of conduct involving law enforcement made illegal by the same statute. Under this statute, there are a number of different actions which could be considered “assault” and lead to an assault on officer charges. Actions that could lead to these charges include:

  • Intentional physical contact with intent to harm
  • Resisting arrest
  • Opposing, impeding, or interfering with law enforcement
  • Or intimidating an enforcement officer while the officer is engaged in the performance of official duty.

Under these circumstances, the charge will say “Assault on Police Officer,” but the actual conduct that occurred could be someone getting involved without justifiable and excusable cause interfering with the law enforcement officer doing their job while they are engaged in the performance of their official duties. The generality of this offense means it can be charged in a variety of different situations, which means that it is important to consult with a DC assault on an officer lawyer as soon as you are charged.

Who is Considered a Law Enforcement Officer?

“Law enforcement officers” could be a member of the MPD, or any other member of any police force operating in the District of Columbia including any reserve officer, designated civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department, any licensed special police officer, any fire department member, anyone employed by the correctional facilities of the District of Columbia including the US Marshals at the court or the Detention Officers at the DC Jail, or any juvenile supervision officer.

The statute is broadly defined to include anyone who is involved as a police officer, fire department officials, or someone in similar supervision over offenders. It includes conduct, not just an assault, but also anything that resists or interferes with an officer trying to do their job.

Common Ways Assault on an Officer is Charged

The most common way that APO attorneys in DC see this offense charged is through resisting arrest. When the police are trying to effectuate an arrest upon a suspect and the suspect is fighting back or wrestling trying to avoid being brought to the ground or being handcuffed, the APO charge is brought in addition to the reason for the original arrest.

For example, someone is arrested for a DUI or for possession of drugs and while the police officer tries to put them into custody, the individual resists arrest. This is extremely common, less common is an actual assault where the suspect, tries and/or succeeds in striking the officer.

Even less common is when someone is charged with interfering or impeding police officers trying to engage in the performance of their official duties. Most often the alleged conduct in an APO case is resisting arrest or actual assaulting of the officer, both of which are still treated very seriously and warrant attention from a DC assault on an officer lawyer.


Normally, assault on a police officer is a misdemeanor offense. Any criminal offense is serious, but a felony is more serious than a misdemeanor for numerous reasons. A person can be charged with a felony for assault on a police officer if, when committing the assault on the police officer, the individual causes significant bodily injury to the police officer or commits a violent act that creates a grave risk of causing significant bodily injury to the officer. In these types of cases, the maximum penalty for a misdemeanor APO is increased to 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. For a felony, it jumps to a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and fine of $25,000 making it extremely important that a DC assault on an officer attorney is contacted.