Police officers are basically the right-hand of prosecutors in Los Angeles. So, if a defendant is charged with a crime against a police officer – whether it be assault of police officer, resisting arrest, assault with a deadly weapon – or any other crime where the officer is the victim – these cases are very difficult to defend because the prosecutors are friendly with police officers and the consider it their civic duty to make sure anybody that commits a crime against a police officer is punished to the full extent of the law. The way the prosecutors look at it is that if they don't protect law enforcement, then law enforcement will not be able to do their job. If law enforcement in Los Angeles can't do their job because people are committing crimes against them, the prosecutors believe their jobs are in jeopardy as well, because then the police will not be able to arrest and catch people for crimes so the prosecutors can charge them with crimes.
Aggressive Prosecution For Crimes Against Police
Basically, it is difficult to defend these cases because the prosecutors will take such a hard line of them. They'll want jail time on a case where none is warranted or where you usually wouldn't get jail time if a police officer wasn't involved.
Another big problem with these crimes against police officers in Los Angeles is that a lot of times, the police officers embellish their police report and add things and make things seem worse than they are because they themselves are concerned that they are going to get in trouble because they probably used some sort of excessive force or violence in arresting the person or dealing with a person when they came in contact with them.
So, now they feel that they need to trump-up some charges in order to justify their actions. So, if they're ever sued for it or if there is any disciplinary action taken against them through their internal affairs unit, they'll be able to point to the fact that the other person resisted arrest, attacked them first, didn't comply with their commands — there's a whole host of different arguments they can make.
Retain a Lawyer With Experience
So, if you have one of these cases where a police officer is the alleged victim, you're best served getting an attorney who has handled these types of cases before and knows how to convince the prosecutors of their client's version of events. It's crucial that your story is gotten across to the prosecutors when it comes to these police officers as victim cases in Los Angeles, because if it's not, then they're probably going to treat you much more harshly than they would just a normal individual who had a criminal case pending where an officer was not involved.
Another thing I see is other officers backing-up the story of the police officer who is claiming some sort of an injury or crime was committed against them. So, now there are multiple witnesses against a particular defendant, which again, makes things more difficult to defend when it comes to law enforcement-related offenses.
However, in many aspects. The pendulum has shifted. With all of the new media attention on police officers, people with video cameras and even the police with body cams, some of the truth about what the police are doing and how they are trumping charges up is coming out, and that has spun the pendulum.
Review of the Evidence
So, now juries are not so quick to believe that law enforcement is the victim of a particular crime. They're going to listen to what the evidence is. They're going to listen to what the witnesses say and they are also going to listen to a defendant in a case to see what their story is and see if there's overreaching by the police and see if this is a legitimate case where the police should be victims, and a particular defendant should be charged and convicted of a crime against a police officer.
For more information on Defending Criminal Cases Involving Policemen, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0979 today.