Most police officers in the City of Angels take very seriously their responsibility to get Los Angeles DUI drivers off the road. Occasionally, however, some law enforcement officials may turn a blind eye to someone’s drinking and driving offense. When authorities discover their actions, those officers find that they’re got legal troubles of their own.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported on two officers, Rene Ponce and Irene Gomez, accused by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office of filing a false report and conspiracy to commit an act injurious to the public.
The case against the officers involves an incident from two years ago. On the night of October 26, 2014, a Mustang driven by an unnamed driver slammed into two cars parked on a neighborhood street. When the driver tried to flee, people in the neighborhood who had been awakened by the crash gave chase. Larry Chavez, who held the driver down until the officers arrived, said that the man was very drunk.
When Officers Ponce and Gomez arrived on the scene they moved the driver to the back of their police car, holding him there for about 90 minutes. The complaint against the officers says that they then drove the man home and told him to sleep. City prosecutors who reviewed the case at the time declined to file charges.
Both officers have denied the charges. An attorney for Officer Gomez said she had not taken the man home and that both officers had followed standard procedures for a hit and run case. He questioned why it has taken two years for the Los Angeles prosecutor to bring charges against the two officers.
The unnamed driver in the incident could have faced some serious penalties for a misdemeanor hit and run incident. California VC 20002 calls for maximum penalties of up to six months in jail, and $1,000 in fines plus court costs and restitution to the person who owned the damaged property. Under California VC 23152, the DUI penalties could be additional fines of up to $1,000 in fines and up to six months in jail.
Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer, Michael Kraut, of the Kraut Criminal & DUI Lawyers is standing by to offer critical insight into your case and potential defense options. Call him and his team today to begin regaining control over your case and your life.