If you are a police officer being charged with or under investigation for domestic abuse, chances are that you know that a discussion about a plea deal will be forthcoming. After all, a majority of criminal cases are resolved through plea deals, so they are fairly common.
However, the decision to accept a plea deal is critical because of the legal implications that can permanently affect your career. Officers convicted of domestic abuse (or who are subject to a restraining order) cannot possess a firearm. As such, it is important to take this decision seriously and ask several questions before making a decision. This post will cover a few.
How will the matter reflect on my record? – As we alluded to earlier, a conviction that is a permanent part of your record may effectively end your career. So even if probation is involved or no jail time will be served, the conviction itself is significantly damaging.
Would I prevail at trial? – Simply put, if you win a trial, you are vindicated and the criminal charges against you are defeated. If you lose, you will have to deal with the consequences of domestic violence conviction.
Will it be possible to clear my record? – Depending on the terms of the deal, your record could be cleared if you complete certain aspects of your probation. This is also important if you want to be reinstated in your department or seek employment through a different law enforcement agency.
If you have additional questions about plea agreements, an experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you.