Assault on an Officer in Nebraska

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While assault in Nebraska can lead to a criminal charge ranging from a misdemeanor to a Class II felony, any physical altercation with a law enforcement officer, emergency responder (e.g., EMT) or most other public service employees will be treated more severely.

Assaulting a police officer or other public service employee will result in a felony conviction ranging from Class IIIA to Class ID felony. If you have been charged with assaulting an officer, it is important that you understand the legal aspects of assault on an officer and the possible punishments you will face if convicted.

What is Assault on an officer?

Assault on an officer occurs when assault occurs to a police officer or other public service employee who is engaged in the performance of his or her official duties. Examples of public service officers include:

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Emergency Responder
  • Department of Correctional Services Employee
  • Department of Health and Human Service Employee
  • Health Care Professional
  • Peace Officer
  • Firefighter
  • Emergency Care Provider

According to Nebraska Revised Statute 28-929, Nebraska Revised Statute 28-930, and Nebraska Revised Statute 28-931, assault on an officer is broken into three degrees which each carry their own criteria:

  • Assault on an officer in the first degree,
  • Assault on an officer in the second degree,
  • Assault on an officer in the third degree, and
  • Assault on an officer using a motor vehicle.

Assault on an officer in the first degree

If a person knowingly or intentionally causes serious bodily harm to a public service officer (law enforcement officer, emergency responder, certain employees, or a health care professional) while the officer or worker is engaged in the performance of his or her official duties, they shall be charged with a Class ID felony. A Class ID felony carries a penalty of up to 50 years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum of 3 years imprisonment.

Serious bodily injury shall mean bodily injury which involves a substantial risk of death, or which involves substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body;

Assault on an officer in the second degree

If a person knowingly or intentionally causes bodily harm to a public service officer (law enforcement officer, emergency responder, certain employees, or a health care professional) with a dangerous instrument while the officer or worker is engaged in the performance of his or her official duties, they shall be charged with a Class II felony. A Class II felony carries a penalty of up to 50 years imprisonment.

Nebraska case law has defined a dangerous instrument as “any object which, because of its nature and the manner and intention of its use, is capable of inflicting bodily injury.” State v. Romo, 12 Neb. App. 472, 476, 676 N.W.2d 737, 741 (2004). It might, for example, be a piece of lumber, a hammer, or many other physical objects. State v. Hatwan, 208 Neb. 450, 303 N.W.2d 779 (1981). For the purposes of the Nebraska Criminal Code, the Nebraska Revised Statutes define bodily injury as “physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.” Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-109(4) (Reissue 2008).

Assault on an officer in the third degree

If a person knowingly, intentionally or recklessly causes bodily harm to a public service officer (law enforcement officer, emergency responder, certain employees, or a health care professional) while the victim is engaged in the performance of his or her official duties, they shall be charged with Class IIIA felony. A Class IIIA felony carries a penalty of up to 3 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

If a person uses a motor vehicle to run over or to strike a public service officer (law enforcement officer, emergency responder, certain employees, or a health care professional), they will also be charged with a Class IIIA felony.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys

We have dedicated criminal law attorneys at Berry Law that can aid you in pursuing the best possible outcome for your criminal charge. If you have been charged with assault on an officer it is crucial that you contact an attorney right away, as this charge carries life-alerting consequences. Call 402.817.6550 today to schedule a confidential consultation today.

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