A former officer with the Cocoa Beach police is facing charges of DUI while under the influence of prescription drugs. According to toxicology reports, hydrocodone, xanax, and a muscle relaxer were all found in his system. His current case paired with his former role as an undercover drug cop may serve to upset many cases currently caught up in the local courts.
According to Florida Today, the State Attorney’s Office is determining how to proceed with 16 felony cases in which he was involved, making undercover drug purchases from the suspects.
Taking part in an estimated 214 cases from 2007, the former officer made undercover purchases, took part in surveillances, and made arrests. In two cases where the arrests were made the made the day he was arrested for DUI, the charges have already been dropped.
The state attorney’s office is taking the other cases on a case by case basis, analyzing the officer’s role and potential impact on the case itself. The issue is his credibility and as the Chief Assistant Public Defender states, “his credibility as a prosecution witness has been negatively impacted if not destroyed by his own criminal charges.”
If called to testify in any of the cases he played a law enforcement role in, there would be no doubt that a criminal defense attorney would raise the issue of his case and his integrity as a witness. In some of the cases he was involved in, however, the state attorney says he wouldn’t even be needed as a witness, lessening the impact of his charges in at least some of the cases.
The integrity of any witness the prosecution calls in a criminal case should be questioned by the defense. If their testimony has the potential to sway the jury that testimony must be backed by someone who can be trusted to deliver the truth. Often, what the arresting officer says is as good as gold in a prosecutor’s case. But if that cop is accused of committing the same crimes he was making arrests for, his reputation takes a nose dive.
If you’re facing criminal charges and are unsure of what evidence the prosecution has against you, we can help. By analyzing the case and discussing the details, we can help you build a solid defense strategy.