In all occupations, employees or workers have the opportunity to make a good choice or a bad choice, and law enforcement officers are no different. Not only can law enforcement have errors in judgement like everybody else, but they are human and they too, can make mistakes. So, can police misconduct occur in a DUI case? Of course, it can.
The vast majority of law enforcement officers are good people who are doing their best to keep our streets safe, but there are a select few who intentionally break the rules or otherwise engage in police misconduct. It can be as simple as fudging a few details on a police report, or lying about the “reasons” for a traffic stop, but these details can sometimes make or break a DUI case.
What Constitutes Police Misconduct?
The California Innocence Project explained police misconduct well when it stated: “Police misconduct encompasses illegal or unethical actions or the violation of individuals’ constitutional rights by police officers in the conduct of their duties.”
Police conduct may involve police brutality, fraud, lying, coercion, physical violence to force a confession, abuse of authority, demanding sexual favors for lenience, and sexual assault. All of these can increase a defendant’s chances of a wrongful conviction, even in a DUI case.
Examples of police misconduct in a DUI case:
- Lying in a police report.
- No probable cause for a traffic stop.
- Falsifying police evidence.
- Lying under oath.
- Following a driver from a bar or nightclub.
As a former prosecutor, I understand how holes in the prosecution’s case can lead to a suppression of evidence or even dismissal of charges. If you believe you were a victim of police misconduct, it needs to be brought to light for many reasons, including justice and protecting your legal rights.
Related: DUI: Can the Police Search My Vehicle?
Was the officer unethical? Is he or she lying at your expense? Are you wrongfully accused? Did the officer make a mistake, but are the officer’s colleagues protecting him or her? Whatever the case, it needs to be addressed, especially if your rights have been violated.
To explore your legal options, contact my Miami DUI defense firm for a free case evaluation.