In a reminder that no one is above the law, a Prince George's County police officer is facing criminal charges and has been suspended from the force. The officer crashed his cruiser into a jersey barrier while off-duty and allegedly was driving under the influence of alcohol. We always assume that the police are above scrutiny, but as this case shows, there are always valid concerns.
Many people who are arrested for DUI are concerned about the process and may feel as if the officers did not behave correctly. Because the average citizen is not familiar with the arrest process, it is extremely important to pursue the input of an attorney.
A DUI or DWI conviction can have long-lasting, negative consequences in the state of Maryland, including jail time, even for a first offense. License suspension can impede a person's ability to go about their regular routines, including getting to work. This can create additional consequences. As this officer's suspension shows, there are also immediate repercussions that may occur -- even without a conviction.
DUI and DWI charges must be taken seriously, including the arrest and investigation methods. Mistakes can be made, leading to false arrests and convictions. Consulting an attorney familiar with the complexities of the law can ensure that the party facing charges sees their rights properly defended. No one wants to see an officer accused of wrongdoing, but it is important to recall they make mistakes too.
Even though the officer has been charged, it is also important to remember that he is not automatically guilty. The prosecutor in the case must prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt - just as with anyone accused of a crime.
ABC8, "Prince George's officer suspended after DUI charge" No Author Given, Oct. 26, 2013