- Criminal Defense
- Federal Crimes
- White Collar Crimes
- Violent Crimes
- Juvenile Law
- College Crimes
Governments have a responsibility to safeguard the men and women who enforce their laws. In response, states like Texas have tightened laws that protect police officers in the performance of their duty. Given the strong professional ties between police and prosecutors, you can expect that district attorneys will aggressively pursue convictions and harsh sentences in matters where someone is charged with an offense against law enforcement personnel. If you are accused of a crime involving a police officer, you need determined defense from a knowledgeable, skillful and respected attorney. At Kevin L. Collins, P.C. in San Antonio, you get trustworthy representation from a board-certified criminal defense specialist capable of taking on authorities who focus heavily on these types of cases. Kevin L. Collins thoroughly investigates the circumstances of your arrest and identifies available defenses in pursuit of the most favorable result possible in your case related to alleged misconduct against a police officer.
Like many states, Texas has enacted enhancements that increase punishments for offenses when the victims are law enforcement officers. For example, battery is a Class A misdemeanor. But the offense becomes a third-degree felony when the perpetrator knows the victim is “a public servant…. lawfully discharging an official duty.” This enhancement is also in effect when a person targets a public servant “in retaliation or on account of an exercise … of an official duty.” So, for example, a person who strikes an officer while resisting arrest has committed a felony.
In 2017, the Texas legislature passed a law to treat violence against police officers as hate crimes. The original hate crime law asks a judge to consider whether a criminal defendant “intentionally selected the [victim]…because of the defendant’s bias or prejudice against a group identified by race, color, disability, religion , national origin or ancestry, age, gender or sexual preference.” H.B. 2908 amended that law to include the victim’s “status as a peace officer or judge.” As a result, offenders who target police officers face tougher penalties. For example, “making a terroristic threat” toward an officer is a felony that is punishable by up to two years in prison.
Assaulting or unlawfully restraining an officer is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Any crime that inflicts bodily injury on an officer is a first-degree felony that in certain circumstances could be punishable by a life sentence.
If you’ve been accused of a violent offense against a police officer, there are possible defenses to the enhancement and/or to the underlying offense. These include:
However, when you directly challenge an officer in court, you face an uphill battle. This is why you need a highly professional and accomplished criminal defense attorney advocating for you.
Kevin L. Collins, P.C. defends clients accused of committing crimes against police officers throughout the San Antonio area. If you have been arrested on this charge or some other count please call 210-598-8629 or contact the office online. The law office is located at 130 East Travis Street in the heart of downtown San Antonio.