In June of this year, Heather Locklear “was arrested booked on two counts of misdemeanor battery upon an officer and emergency personnel.” Earlier that same week, Locklear's family had called 911 because Locklear was threatening to kill herself. Heather was then taken to a hospital and put under psychiatric evaluation. The later incident and arrest occurred when Locklear was discharged from the hospital in preparation for a long-term stay at a mental health facility more equipped to treat her substance abuse and mental health issues. Police were called to the scene to quell a family dispute and Locklear allegedly hit an officer that was trying to separate her and her family members. Locklear is further alleged to have kicked an EMT while she was on a gurney. This week, Locklear was hit with three more charges: one misdemeanor count of interfering with a law enforcement officer and two counts of misdemeanor battery on first responders.
Assaulting Certain Public Employees in Washington
In Washington, lesser assaults on certain types of public officials are specifically classified under the crime of assault in the third degree. An individual is guilty of this crime if, under the circumstances, their actions do not amount to assault in the first or second degree, that is, the individual:
- “With intent to prevent or resist the execution of any lawful process or mandate of any court officer or the lawful apprehension or detention of himself, herself, or another person, assaults another; or
- Assaults a firefighter or other employee of a fire department, county fire marshal's office, county fire prevention bureau, or fire protection district who was performing his or her official duties at the time of the assault; or
- With criminal negligence, causes bodily harm accompanied by substantial pain that extends for a period sufficient to cause considerable suffering; or
- Assaults a law enforcement officer or other employee of a law enforcement agency who was performing his or her official duties at the time of the assault; or
- Assaults a nurse, physician, or health care provider who was performing his or her nursing or health care duties at the time of the assault.”
What to Do If Accused of Assault in the Third Degree
There are several public officials that are listed under the purview of RCW 9A.36.031, many more than are listed above. In Washington, assault in the third degree is a class C felony, which typically carries a maximum of a $10,000 fine and up to five years in prison. Keep in mind, if the assault is serious enough to rise to the level of first or second degree, prosecutors can choose to charge the more elevated crime.
Assault charges are very serious and can be very complicated to clear up. For that reason, if you have been charged with assault, you should contact experienced criminal defense attorney Steve Karimi. Mr. Karimi is a former King County prosecutor who now uses his knowledge and insight into the criminal justice system to fight for the rights of those accused. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today.