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Orange County Bar Association

Assault / Battery on a Peace Officer

Penal Code Sections 241(c), 243 (b)

  1. When a Defendant uses force or attempts to use force; AND
  2. the use of force is intentional; AND
  3. the victim was lawfully performing his duties as a Peace Officer/Firefighter; AND
  4. the Defendant knew the victim was a Peace Officer or Firefighter; THEN
  5. the Defendant may be found guilty of Assault/Battery on a Peace Officer/ Firefighter.

Defenses to this Crime:

  1. If a Defendant is acting in self-defense then this is a complete defense to this crime even if the person accused knew the victim was a Peace Officer. A claim of self defense may arise if an officer uses excessive force and a person must defend himself to avoid injury to himself or others.
  2. The Defendant must know that the victim is a Peace Officer, so an officer who is not in uniform OR not performing in his regular duties may not qualify as a victim as described by this law.

Practice Note: A defense of self defense may be difficult to prove since it may come down to the Officer’s word versus the Defendant.

Contact the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo (714) 547-4636 for more information.

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