Police officer gets community service for DUI

Police officers can sometimes be treated differently in the eyes of the law. If someone shoots a police officer for example, the person accused of the shooting can expect harsh treatment. Conversely, a police officer accused of a crime may on occasion be viewed more leniently compared to a person with an existing criminal record.

A 55-year-old police officer from Frederick was recently charged with drunk driving and leaving the scene of an accident. He was sentenced to 48 hours of community service. If he were a 55-year-old pawn shop employee, would he have received the same sentence? It’s impossible to predict.

The drunk driving charge stemmed from a single car accident that occurred in August. The off-duty officer apparently struck a guard rail on U.S. 15. It was not reported how the guard rail accident was discovered and connected to the 55-year-old man.

He was arrested after the accident and suspended from his police duties. In an plea agreement, the 55-year-old reportedly was granted a plea before judgment for his drunk driving charge. This means that if he successfully completes the terms of his community service and probation, that the charge will be expunged. An expunged charge is one which is erased, so it appears as though it never occurred. The charge of leaving the scene of an accident was dropped.

The 55-year-old will be on probation for two years. A typical probation will require that the person does not reoffend with any new crime of a similar nature.

The news report did not mention if the police officer will be reinstated in his job as a Frederick police officer.

Source: Carroll County Times, “Frederick officer sentenced for drunken driving,” Sept. 21, 2012

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