In the twenty-five years that I’ve been defending police officers who have been charged I’ve noticed that a lot of times once a police officer is charged, unfortunately they are treated and viewed as the very criminals that they are sworn to protect society against.
I really think it does them a disservice because the prosecutors tend to lose sight of the fact that these individuals have helped the community for many years and it’s not fair to just jump to the conclusion that all of a sudden they’re a criminal just because somebody made a filing decision to charge them with a federal crime.
These are good people. These are people who have worked hard all of their lives. These are people who have sworn to uphold the law and I believe that prosecutors and judges should remember that when they decide to charge a case and when they decide to let a jury stand in judgment of these officials.
Police Officers Have Career Protecting Society From Crime
It’s my job as a criminal defense attorney, if I’m going to defend a law enforcement officer, police officer, FBI agent or whoever it is, that the jury knows that these people are good people.
That these people are not only good people, but these are people who have sworn to protect society from crime, and I think that goes a long way towards beginning the foundation and the structure of defending a law enforcement officer who is charged with a crime.
Obviously, it depends on what the crime is. It depends on what the behavior is that is being viewed as criminal. It depends on what the evidence is, but once you have that core foundation laid with the jury if the case goes to a jury trial.
If you’re going to try to negotiate it, once you have that core foundation laid with whoever you’re dealing with, it’s crucial that what you do is show the jury that.
You show whoever is evaluating your client that they are a good person. They are someone who is extraordinary, who has sworn to help people and it doesn’t really make sense why they would go astray. What would cause them to go astray?
So, if you’re a law enforcement officer and you find yourself on the wrong side of the law and you’re facing criminal charges, you’re being investigated or whatever the case may be, what I want you to do is pick up the phone.
Ask to speak to me directly. Ask to have a meeting with me directly and we’ll sit down and go over everything in the privacy of my office.
Confidential Defense Strategy Review of Your Federal Case
Everything is protected by the attorney/client privilege and I think that’s one of the first steps in a criminal case when you’re looking at charges, is that you and your attorney come to a meeting of the minds as to exactly how those charges are going to be defended.
They’re either going to be defended by fighting them all the way through a jury trial and that takes a game plan. It takes an investigative plan. That takes a plan on how you’re going to deal with the media if the media is involved. That takes a plan on how you’re going to lay the framework to win the case.
The other end of it is sometimes they have evidence that you’ve done something wrong and we need to come up with a game plan on how we are going to deal with that. How are we going to counter that evidence? How are we going to mitigate that evidence?
That again takes a plan from the beginning and then we execute it all the way through, and sometimes that federal criminal defense plan for a law enforcement officer changes along the way and we have to adjust it. We have to know that and be ready to do that from the beginning — that we’re going to adjust it. We’re going to do what it takes to get the best possible result.
Hedding Law Firm
16000 Ventura Blvd #1208
Encino, CA 91436