In Los Angeles, and across California, it is not uncommon to hold police officers in high regard. Indeed, they have a dangerous, often thank-less job, but it comes with a sense of responsibility. In essence, we expect police officers to follow the laws they are charged with enforcing. So when a police officer is arrested or charged with a sex crime, it sometimes shakes the foundation of our society.
Like other criminal defendants, police officers facing sex crime charges need experienced representation. This post will highlight a few reasons why.
Career shaping implications – It may go without saying, but a police officer’s career can effectively be ended with a sex crime conviction. Even if the matter goes to trial and the officer is acquitted, the social stigma that comes with sex crimes can lead to the officer losing their livelihood.
Possible civil sanctions – As we alluded to earlier, being acquitted may end the possibility of facing criminal consequences (i.e. jail time and/or sex offender registration) but an aggrieved party may also seek civil remedies in the form of monetary damages.
Potential bias – Yes, we instinctively hold police officers to a higher standard when it comes to their conduct (both on duty and off duty). But they are still entitled to the constitutional protections afforded to any other criminal defendants. It is very easy for people to lose sight of this simply because of an officer’s duties.
For these reasons, the guidance and advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney is necessary when an officer is accused of a sex crime.