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State and Federal Criminal Defense Representation

Why Do Police Officers Always Get the Benefit of the Doubt?


A former 25 year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department was prosecuted for making false statements in a police report. The former sheriff stated in her report that she had contacted certain victims when she had not. District attorneys rely on police reports when filing charges against people. What officers put in their reports is critical information. However, the jury was deadlocked in the former sheriff’s trial this week. Why do people always give police officers the benefit of the doubt? When was the last time a cop ever did anything for you? And yet, anytime a police officer testifies in a trial or hearing in a criminal case, their testimony is given more weight than that of a defendant. Officers walk into court in uniform with their guns strapped to their side and for some reason carry an air of credibility. I have been practicing criminal defense for approximately 15 years and 90% of my clients tell me that the police report in their case contains some form of fiction. One of the comments in response to an article about this case in the Orange County Register said, “Go after the real criminals.” Officers of the law should be held to an even higher standard. They are arresting people and depriving them of their liberty and their basic constitutional rights when they lie. Someone who breaks the law yet pretends to be upholding the law is even worse than someone who is a hard, cold criminal in my opinion. If people who were charged with crimes were all given the same benefit of the doubt that officers are given, there would be far fewer innocent people convicted of crimes.

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