Police officers charged with doctoring evidence in South Florida DUI case

Two former Hollywood police officers have been arrested and charged with fabricating evidence in a Broward County drunk driving case, the Sun Sentinel reported.

While this is an extreme example, it certainly serves as a reminder that police are not on your side in the wake of a DUI stop. Officers are there to collect evidence of your guilt. Frequently, motorists think that by cooperating or agreeing to field sobriety tests, they can prove they are not intoxicated and avoid being charged with drunk driving in Miami. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. Field sobriety tests are meant to collect evidence of your guilt — in the opinion of an officer whose job it is to collect evidence of your guilt. Hiring and aggressive Miami DUI defense lawyer is the best way to protect your rights.

The veteran officers, ages 37 and 43, were fired earlier this year. Now, both men face criminal charges, including four counts of official misconduct, four counts of conspiracy to commit official misconduct, and one count of conspiracy to falsify records. Both were jailed on $100,000 bail.

The charges resulted from a February 2009 accident in which one of the officers rear-ended a woman while driving his patrol car. Media reports indicate the officer has had eight other traffic crashes during his 12 years with the Hollywood Police Department. Personnel at the scene, including a crime scene technician and a community services aid, were heard on a police car’s dashboard video camera discussing how to doctor the reports to absolve the officer of responsibility for the accident.

The driver of the other car was arrested and charged with DUI. When the video became public five months later, police began an internal investigation and the charges were dropped against the woman. The other officer is accused of doctoring the report to indicate that the woman was distracted by a pet in the vehicle and abruptly slammed on her brakes, causing the officer to hit her from behind.

Three other police department employees were also fired, including a sergeant, a community services officer and a crime scene technician.