While many of our posts focus on defending officers facing felony charges as a result of domestic abuse, assaults and illegal weapons charges, it is important to remind our readers that we defend officers accused of a wide variety of criminal charges, including those that do not involve weapons or physical assault, particularly fraud claims.
Defending fraud claims are particularly important because they strike at the heart of what the public demands from its police officers: honesty and integrity. Without public trust, the police may be unable to perform what is already a difficult job. Additionally, it is critical to preserve an officer’s life and professional interests and constitutional rights through the criminal process. Simply because an officer is accused of a crime does not mean that they are not entitled to the same protections as other defendants.
Like others facing felony charges, avoiding jail time is a prime consideration. The story of a former Costa Mesa police officer is a prime example. The officer was convicted of felony insurance fraud and making a false statement to obtain compensation. The officer obtained workers’ compensation benefits based on an injury the officer claimed he suffered while escorting a suspect to jail. However, video surveillance showed that the injury did not occur in this instance.
The officer was sentenced to six months in jail and was ordered to pay restitution, which is favorable considering that felonies are punished with at least one year in state prison.
If you are a police officer charged with a felony or are the subject of a criminal investigation, an experienced criminal defense attorney can advise you.