Regardless of what you feel is acceptible conduct, assulting a police officer is going to be handled harshly.
the case of Dennard, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets 6 months jail time with 3 months suspended. Anything less is definitely a victory for Dennard and the Pats.
I know of a case in Virginia where a policeman arrested a drunken and rowdy bar patron who tugged and pushed a policeman because he thought that he was too roughly handled. He spent 3 months in jail with 9 months probation.
Eighteen months later he was again arrested for drunken behavior and he quarreled with the arresting officer because the cuffs were on too tight. When (according to him) the officer just laughed he retaliated by spitting in the officer's face. He got 2 years jail time with 5 years probation. The act of spitting was legally judged as an assult of a police officer.
The "felon" was know to be a responsible, hard working and kind hearted soul who was liked by all but his conduct when sober did little to reduce his sentense. Even his prison warden believed him to be a model citizen when sober as evidenced by his appointment as a prison trustee after 6 months confinement.
As a Pats fan I feel like the news couldn't be worse and I'm hoping that leniency in Nebraska is better than Virginia!