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79 DUI charges brought by one California cop overturned

A recent case involving a California police officer and 79 of his DUI cases has made headlines nationwide. While it was noted several of the DUI charges were founded, the way in which the officer handled the reports did not meet the requirements to uphold the charges. This will no doubt bring attention to other similar cases.

The officer faced several issues during his time with the department. He took part in a peer support group and even went on a weeklong retreat for officers and firefighters dealing with suicidal thoughts. He was assigned to the department's drunk driving unit, which is considered a lighter duty assignment than others. However, when this also became more than he could handle, he falsified reports and even lied in court.

This case proves that just because a person is accused of driving under the influence doesn't mean they are automatically guilty. There are times when cases are mishandled by police officers. Video from the camera in this officer's police car provided further evidence that these 79 cases were mishandled. In this case, there may have been some drunk drivers that were actually guilty, but this officer's actions denied them their right to a fair trial.

Any California resident facing DUI charges may benefit from reviewing all of the evidence against them, including the footage from the camera in the arresting officer's vehicle. Mistakes and misunderstandings can occur, which is a big reason that anyone accused of a crime is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Even though it's the responsibility of the state to prove the charges against an accused, it never hurts to be diligent and prepare a defense.

Source: sacbee.com, "Faked reports put cop in jail," Kim Minugh, April 20, 2013

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