A person who is charged with DUI can face severe penalties, from fines and court costs to incarceration. Many people who are arrested for drinking and driving need only to go through the legal process once to avoid repeating the offense. They find being arrested, handcuffed and processed through a jail to be humiliating and decide they do not want to go through the experience again. Suffolk readers might be interested in a situation where prosecutors are counting on that fact; a dozen pending DUI cases have been dropped because of an officer’s alleged misdeeds.
Prosecutors in Tampa Bay, Florida, have dropped 12 cases that involved a police officer who was fired for not being truthful about an incident involving a DUI stop. Because he was found to not have acted in the manner in which he should have, prosecutors maintain his other stops could be tainted as well and have decided not to prosecute other cases.
This stems from a DUI stop the officer made based on a tip about an alleged drunk driver. However the man, an attorney, who was pulled over and charged was being set up by a rival attorney. The officer was a good friend of the rival attorney, and several text messages were found that occurred between the officer and the attorney on the evening of the DUI arrest.
Although the questionable actions of the officer has led to a dozen people having their DUI charges dropped, it also serves as a reminder that anyone stopped for DUI should seek legal counsel. A legal professional experienced in handling these types of cases would know to investigate the professional background of all officers involved in the stop and arrest to check for any questionable activities that might have occurred in previous arrests.
Source: TampaBay.com, “Dozen DUI cases dropped in fallout over fired Tampa police sergeant” Sue Carlton, Oct. 08, 2013