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California officer faces DUI charges and a difficult road ahead

While an ordinary person has a difficult road ahead when accused of a crime, public servants, such as police officers, have especially difficult challenges. Simple DUI charges can impact not only their ability to drive but also their ability to hold a job that is linked with their reputation. Police officers in California and elsewhere need to handle any charges against them especially carefully to minimize the damage they can have over all aspects of their lives.

A California Highway Patrol officer was involved in a four-car accident in January 2012. The accident occurred while she was off-duty. The officer was given a sobriety test, and the results showed a blood alcohol level close to double the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

While the officer was not hurt in the crash, several other people suffered at least minor injuries. As a result, the defending officer was charged with two counts of DUI with injury, a felony, as well as other charges related to the crash. She recently entered a plea of no contest to receive felony probation, and all but one of the charges against her will be dismissed.

When an officer of the law is charged with a crime, his or her department typically conducts an independent investigation of the case before making a decision about how the officer's situation will be addressed. In this case, it is likely that the charges and plea entered will have an impact on this officer personally and professionally. In situations such as this, reaching a plea agreement for DUI charges may help minimize the damage to an individual's reputation and future.

Source: Chico Enterprise Record, "CHP officer from Redding admits to drunken driving in plea bargain," Jan. 12, 2013

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