A police officer is facing charges of domestic violence in Miami after being accused of strangling his girlfriend, NBC News reports.
The 16-year-old veteran of the Miami police department is charged with battery after an incident with his long-time girlfriend, whom authorities say was ending the relationship. The 50-year-old officer has been relieved of his duties with the department pending the outcome of the case. The case is one of several high profile arrests or investigations of South Florida police officers this month.
Miami domestic violence defense attorneys understand how devastating a domestic violence or other criminal conviction can be to members of law enforcement or the military. Domestic violence charges, in particular, can prevent a defendant from owning a firearm and can end a law enforcement career. And, while there are no doubt legitimate cases of domestic assault filed each day, the fact remains the Florida's domestic violence law is one of the most abused laws on the books.
Charges are frequently filed during a contentious breakup, divorce or child custody case. Often police make an arrest based on allegations made at the scene -- with little or no evidence. And restraining orders can forbid someone facing charges from returning home or even visiting children during the pending status of a case.
In other news, the Miami Herald is reporting that two police officers have been fired after being accused of falsely arresting and beating a gay man at Flamingo Park. Prosecutors in that case have declined to press charges.
And Reuters News Service is reporting an officer was arrested for allegedly crashing an ATV into beach-goers while drunk on duty.
Authorities say he and another officer went clubbing while on beach patrol in the early morning hours of July 3. The defendant was taking one of the women for a ride on the beach when he crashed into a couple waiting to photograph the sunrise. The woman broke her leg and the man suffered life-threatening injuries.
Investigators say the officer had a blood-alcohol level of .88 several hours after the incident. The legal limit for drunk driving in Florida is .08. While the officers were in full uniform, several woman at the bar said they thought they were entertainers; at least one of the women said the officers were drinking.
Both officers were fired after the incident. The driver of the ATV is facing two counts of reckless driving and two counts of causing serious bodily injury while driving under the influence of alcohol. In order to prove the charges, the state will need to prove both that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash and that the accident was his fault. An experienced Miami defense lawyer will review all aspects of a drunk driving accident case and may call in independent accident reconstructionists or other experts as part of a comprehensive defense.
Miami Criminal Defense Attorney A. Antonio Tomas offers a free consultation to individuals dealing with criminal charges, including domestic violence, drug charges and assault charges in Miami-Dade. Call 305-648-1040.
Miami Cop Busted for Strangling Girlfriend, by Todd Wright, NBC Miami.