Penalties For Assaulting a Federal Officer in Florida

If you have been charged with assaulting a federal officer in Florida, it is in your best interest to seek immediate legal counsel from an experienced federal defense attorney. All criminal charges are serious, but federal offenses are typically punished more harshly than their state counterparts. And when the federal offense involves assaulting an officer, the stakes get even higher.


At the Law Office of Nayib Hassan, our highly-skilled and experienced federal defense team has successfully defended countless clients against assault charges, including those against a federal officer. This is not the moment to waste time or cut corners; a conviction of assaulting a federal officer could severely impact your ability to get a job, housing, loans, or even custody of your children for years. Let us help you protect your rights and get your life back on track. Contact the Law Office of Nayib Hassan today for a confidential consultation about your case.

Who are Federal Officers in Florida

The term federal officer refers to individuals who work in any federal law enforcement agency, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).


More broadly, a federal officer can be any individual who worked for the U.S. government or one of its agencies, or who has served in the U.S. military, and is actively engaged in the performance of official duties at the time of the assault. The term federal officer can even apply to any individual who is assisting a federal officer in the performance of official duties.


Furthermore, if the assault takes place on account of the officer’s official duties, even if they are no longer actively engaged in those duties, the defendant may be charged with assaulting a federal officer. And the defendant doesn’t have to have known that their target was a federal officer to be charged.


What Happens if You Are Charged With Assaulting a Federal Officer?

If you are charged with assaulting someone who fits into one of the above categories, you may be facing serious penalties, years imprisonment, and a misdemeanor or felony conviction. To be convicted of assaulting a federal officer, however, the prosecution must be able to prove that an actual assault occurred. Let’s start by explaining the elements of assault, without which an assault conviction is unlikely.

Three Elements of Assault

In order to be convicted of assault against a federal officer, the defendant must have:

forcibly assaulted a federal officer;

while the federal officer was engaged in their official duties, or on account of those official duties; or

the assault must have involved physical contact, bodily injury, or the intent to commit another felony.


Penalties for Assaulting a Federal Officer

Under federal law, anyone who “forcibly assaults, resists, opposes, impedes, intimidates, or interferes with any person designated {as a federal officer or employee} while engaged in or on account of the performance of official duties; or forcibly assaults or intimidates any person who formerly served as a person designated {as a federal officer or employee} on account of the performance of official duties during such persons term of service,” shall be punished as follows:


Simple assault—up to one year imprisonment;

Assault involving physical contact—up to eight years imprisonment;

Assault involving the intent to commit another felony—up to eight years imprisonment; or

Assault involving a deadly or dangerous weapon or that results in bodily injury—up to 20 years imprisonment.

Injuring the Federal Officer’s Family Members

If the defendant physically assaulted a member of the federal officer’s family, they may be facing up to 10 years imprisonment. If the family member is injured in the altercation, the defendant may be facing up to 20 years imprisonment, and that sentence may be increased to 30 years if a dangerous weapon was used.


What Happens if You Assault a Local Police Officer?

Federal and state laws forbid unlawful threats and unlawful physical contact with law enforcement officers, whether at the federal or local level. In Florida, assaulting a local police officer can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. Unfortunately, the use of excessive force by police officers remains a very real problem in this country.


At the Law Office of Nayib Hassan, our federal criminal defense attorneys understand that many charges of assaulting a federal or local officer stem from the officer’s use of excessive force. Sometimes, the use of force is justified, but not always. If you have been charged with assaulting a federal or local officer, and your actions occurred in self-defense or perceived self-defense, an experienced federal defense attorney can help. When adrenaline is pumping, even a well-intentioned officer may push the limits of justifiable force. A good defense attorney will thoroughly analyze the situation to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and position you for the most favorable outcome possible.


If the officer was indeed using excessive force, a charge of assault may be dismissed as an act of self-defense.

Contact the Law Office of Nayib Hassan Today

If you have been charged with assaulting a federal officer in Florida, the skilled legal team at the Law Office of Nayib Hassan can help. A conviction of assaulting a federal officer carries serious consequences. In addition to hefty fines and a permanent criminal record, you could find yourself behind bars for a decade or more, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case.


At the Law Office of Nayib Hassan, we have successfully defended countless clients against charges of assault, including against federal and local officers. We have an impressive track record of winning cases in a timely and cost-effective manner, and we will fight aggressively to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom. Do not attempt to go to battle against such serious charges without the help of a highly-skilled federal defense attorney. Contact the Law Office of Nayib Hassan today to schedule a confidential consultation about your case.