Representing Florida Law Enforcement & Correctional Officers
I began my career in law enforcement at the Daytona Beach Police Department as a police officer shortly after my 20th birthday. 20 years later I retired at the rank of lieutenant. I have investigated everything from traffic infractions to serious felonies up to and including murders as the lead detective. My assignments included Patrol, Street Crimes, Motors, C.I.D. and Special Operations. During my time at the police department the officers unionized and I became a member of the Teamsters Local 385. I worked my way through my undergraduate degree and began law school while still an officer.
I retired in 2003, completed law school and began my second career as an attorney one year later as an Assistant State Attorney. I have prosecuted criminal cases in both the 7th and 9th Judicial Circuits of Florida. As a prosecutor, I handled cases that ranged from misdemeanor and juvenile cases to felony cases that include vehicular homicide, drug trafficking and armed robbery. During my time as a prosecutor I tried several cases in both county and circuit court. I also worked in private practice for a short time.
I understand what it is like to be under investigation because I have been there. I remember the feeling of dread knowing that I was alone in the interview and at the mercy of those who would decide my professional fate because I did not have knowledgeable representation at my side. You do not, and should not, have to be alone.
Whether Internal Affairsor supervisory staff are conducting an investigation, as an officer in the State of Florida, you have rights under the Constitutions of the United States & the State of Florida. You also have rights under the Florida Law Enforcement and Correctional Officer Bill of Rights during any form of an investigation for which you can be disciplined or criminally charged. You have the right to have an internal investigation defense! Do not go into an interview without knowledgeable legal representation that will protect your rights. As a long time officer, prosecutor and attorney I can help.
As an attorney, I began working with Attorney Maria Kazouris, Esq., representing Florida Correctional Officers in disciplinary hearings for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 2011. I found that your rights as an officer do not end at the conclusion of an internal investigation. In the event that discipline in the form of suspension or termination is leveled, you have an option to either file a grievance pursuant to a union contract, appeal to the Public Employees Relations Commission, (PERC) if you are a state officer or to your local appeal process pursuant to the rules in your jurisdiction. It is important to know that there is a short time limit for those actions and that you are entitled to an officer discipline defense. Do not go it alone!
Some of us feel that we had a calling to become officers, whether it is as a law enforcement officer or a correctional officer. We all went through an extensive amount of schooling and training in order to reach our goals of becoming an officer and to maintain our officer certifications. As officers, we all look forward to our pensions to help support our families for years to come. When the State decides to attempt to suspend or revoke our certificate to work in the field for which we are passionate, we should not and cannot just accept it. You have a right to officer certification defense and you will need representation from someone who understands both the seriousness of your situation and the rules & law in play. Let me help.
Criminal Defense for Florida Officers
When an officer is accused of a crime, even a crime that is considered minor, in the state of Florida, the impact can devastating. News outlets may broadcast the accusations, thus placing the officer as well as their families up for public ridicule. The officer could be terminated from their agency and the officer's state certification may also be in jeopardy which can be financially shattering to the entire family.
Officers have the same rights as everyone else who is the focus of a criminal investigation. If you find yourself under criminal investigation do not feel that you must go through it alone. Exercising your rights is not a sign of guilt. It is an attempt for you to try to protect yourself and your family. Contact me for a free consultation.