Washington law generally makes it a crime for a person to disarm a law enforcement officer. The offense is a serious felony (as opposed to a misdemeanor) that can result in a prison term of up to 10 years. Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you or a loved one is facing any type of charge involving a police officer.
What is the Washington Crime of Disarming a Police Officer
RCW 9A.76.023 is the Washington statute that sets forth the crime of disarming a law enforcement officer. Per this law, you commit a crime if you:
- Knowingly remove a firearm or weapon from a law enforcement officer, and
- Do so with the intent to interfere with the performance of the officer’s duties.
You can also commit this crime if:
- You deprive a law enforcement officer of the use of a firearm or weapon,
- Do so when the officer is acting within the scope of the officer’s duties,
- Do so when you knew or should have known that the individual is a law enforcement officer, and
- The Officer does not consent to the removal.
What are the Penalties?
A violation of RCW 9A.76.023 is a class C felony. The crime is punishable by:
- Confinement in state prison for up to five years, and
- A maximum fine of $10,000.
But note that the crime can get charged as a class B felony if you disarm a police officer and the firearm involved is discharged. A class B felony is punishable by:
- Confinement in state prison for up to 10 years, and
- A maximum fine of $20,000.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Yes. You have the right to challenge a disarming an officer charge with a legal defense. A common defense is for an accused to show that he or she did not act intentionally. Recall that you are usually only guilty of this offense if you removed a firearm with the intent to interfere with the performance of an officer’s duties. Therefore, it is a defense if you show that you did not act with this purpose.
Another defense is for your criminal defense attorney to show that you did not “knowingly” remove a firearm. Perhaps, for example, you took some act and, as a result, you accidentally removed a firearm.
Contact Black & Askerov for Help
While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a disarming an officer charge, it will take a skilled criminal defense attorney to raise the best defense. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on both misdemeanor and felony charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers also have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!
* Main image at the top by Freepik