When the state threatens you with criminal charges, your due process rights are often the only bulwark between you and a prison cell. Evidence must be gathered in accordance with your rights, or be excluded from the case against you.
But are Utah police officers always professional in their evidence gathering efforts? Like everyone else, police officers are fallible human beings – some of them more so than others, as was made clear in a recent Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Council meeting. When a police officer steps afoul of the law, it can not only undermine the credibility of the law enforcement community, it can allow you to contest evidence against you when staging your criminal defense.
Assaults, theft of evidence, sex while on duty among the incidents of misconduct
One of the most important functions of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council is to consider disciplinary cases against Utah police officers. On September 25, the Council heard 17 cases against police officers.
In some of the cases, the Council decided to revoke officers’ certifications to be a police officer. Two of the officers before the Council had their certifications revoked for incidents involving off duty assaults, one for attacking another man at a social gathering and the other for choking a four-year-old child entrusted to his care at the time. Another officer had his certification revoked after entering a plea for an attempted aggravated assault on his girlfriend.
Some of the police misconduct involved property. One peace officer had his certification revoked after taking city owned equipment and allegedly selling it as scrap metal. In a particularly egregious case, an officer lost his certification for stealing evidence, in this case methamphetamine, which he later ingested.
In a headline-grabbing string of misconduct, another of the disciplined officers had sex on duty and in his squad car while having an extramarital affair. He received only a three year suspension.
Call a criminal defense attorney for legal help in exposing police misconduct
Police officers are human beings, and it is unrealistic to expect them to be perfect. But, when they are engaging in conduct that, at best, displays a sorry commitment to professionalism in police work, you should not have to pay the price for their sloppiness.
If you have been charged with a crime, and officers acted improperly in handling some aspect of your case, you may be able to get evidence collected against you thrown out in court. Getting such evidence suppressed can be a critical aspect of your defense, keeping you from suffering through a lengthy prison term.
Utah cops are not infallible, and if they have investigated you for a crime, you need to expose any misconduct that could prove critical to your defense. Get in touch with a criminal defense attorney today to get help uncovering police misconduct and getting tainted evidence thrown out.