Congdon Law. PLLC.

What Are Some Common Scenarios Related To Assault Against A Police Officer In Minneapolis?

Most frequently, assaults on a police officer include biting, hitting, kicking, or even spitting on a police officer while they are trying to arrest someone.

Does An Alleged Charge Of Assaulting A Police Officer Necessarily Mean That Physical Harm Was Alleged To Have Occurred?

Physical harm is not required to prove assault on a police officer. In the case of spitting on a police officer, the spit may not actually cause any harm but because of the possibility of transferring a disease or illness, you can be charged with assault on a police officer, even if you were not sick.

Is Resisting Arrest Considered To Be The Same As Assaulting A Police Officer?

Resisting arrest is a different charge than assaulting a police officer. If you are resisting arrest, that falls under the category of obstructing the legal process, which presumes that the officer had a legitimate, lawful reason to be arresting you and that you obstructed that in some way. That could be a physical obstruction in the form of kicking at the officer. They could charge you with assault, if you actually do kick the police officer, or they could charge you with obstructing the legal process. In many situations, a prosecutor would charge both just to see what they could ultimately prove at trial.

Is A Charge Of Assaulting A Police Officer Considered A Misdemeanor Or A Felony In Minnesota?

Assaulting a police officer could be either a gross misdemeanor or a felony level offense in Minnesota. It depends on the amount of harm that is caused and whether there was a weapon used. If there was a weapon, then it is certainly a felony. If there was minimal or no harm done to the officer, it is a likely a misdemeanor; if there was substantial harm done, it would likely be a felony level offense.

How Can I Possibly Get A Fair Chance In A Case Where I Have Been Charged With Assaulting A Police Officer?

When police provide evidence in this day and age, it is very common for body camera videos to exist. It is much easier now to see what happened and not have to rely entirely on the statements of the police officers. Additionally, if there are other witnesses, it is possible to obtain statements from them to get their perspective as well. It is not impossible to challenge the statement of law enforcement.

What Are The Penalties, If Someone Is Convicted Of Assault Against A Police Officer In Minnesota?

If you are convicted of a gross misdemeanor level offense, the maximum penalty is a year in jail and/or a three thousand dollar fine. If you are convicted of a felony level offense, the maximum depends on the level of assault you are charged with. Whether you are sentenced to that maximum is dependent on several factors, including your prior criminal history.

What Are Some Of The Most Common Mistakes People Make When It Comes To Encounters With Law Enforcement?

One of the most common mistakes is people feel that they are obligated to answer law enforcement’s questions. That is simply not the case. You should provide the bare minimum information necessary to identify yourself. People often answer questions related to where they are going, where are they coming from, and if police can search their vehicle or things. Those questions do not have to be answered and any request for a voluntary search should be denied. Answering questions is one of the most common mistakes that people make and it often leads to officers establishing more probable cause that would allow them to expand their search or get a search warrant, and that can lead to criminal charges.

How Do People Who Are Under Investigation By Law Enforcement Generally Find Out That They Are A Suspect?

Most of the time, if you are under investigation by law enforcement, you are not going to know about it until near the end of their investigation when they are trying to speak with you. At that point, they believe that they already have information to charge you and they are simply trying to talk to you to pretend like you can have the opportunity to talk yourself out of the charges. In reality, they have enough information and they are just trying to get a statement from you that would further solidify their case.

Should I Hire An Attorney Early On, If I Suspect I’m Going To Be Arrested?

It is a good idea to hire an attorney ahead of time, if you believe that you may be arrested. Hiring an attorney ahead of time will enable that attorney to run interference with law enforcement to arrange a voluntary surrender, rather than law enforcement arresting you at an inopportune time. If you have an attorney, they can work to obtain evidence that may be lost because law enforcement may not be looking for everything, particularly if it may exonerate a client.

If Law Enforcement Is Investigating Me, Should I Speak To Them? What About Cooperating With Law Enforcement To Provide Them With Any Information I Might Have? Does That Help My Case?

It is very unlikely that speaking to law enforcement is going to help your situation. Most of the time, when law enforcement wants to speak with a suspect, they already believe that they have enough information to charge that person. Obtaining a statement only solidifies their case. Further, if there are any small discrepancies in the statement, law enforcement and prosecutors will seize on that small change to show that the person is lying or has something to hide. It is very important, if you are going to speak with law enforcement, that you have an attorney with you who can advise you and analyze the questions that are being asked of you.

I Spoke To Police Before And After My Arrest, But I Didn’t Have An Attorney With Me. Can They Use This Against Me?

If you gave a statement to law enforcement before you were arrested, they can use that statement. If you gave a statement after your arrest while you were in custody, they can only use it if they read you your Miranda rights. Law enforcement only has to read Miranda rights when you are in custody and under interrogation. If you made spontaneous statements without prompting from law enforcement, they will be able to use those statements.

How Common Is It For People To Give Police A Statement Without Any Attorney Present?

Unfortunately, it is very common for people to give statements to law enforcement without having an attorney present. They get caught up in the situation. It is easy to fall under the pressure of law enforcement and give them a statement. Usually, that backfires when the person is charged and their statement is used against them.

For more information on Police Assault Cases, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (651)-964-4512 today.

Jennifer Congdon, Esq.

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