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Arresting Officers


Moe Familia
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Hello, hope all is well and healthy.

 

As a practicing lawyer in city, my personal opinion is that arresting officers should not be the ones responsible for charging/sentencing. I've seen countless times officers that took it personal as they were punched/shot at by the detainee. I've had an officer once tell me that "I'm wasting my time" first thing as I walked into the department. In my opinion a supervisor or an impartial officer should process detainees not the arresting officer. The officer that told me that I was wasting my time did not budge until I requested a magistrate and then he started cooperating with me. 

I have nothing personal against any officers, but a wise man once told me, even scumbags deserve justice. I feel like its unjust for the detainees to have to get charged and sentenced by the same officer who took it personal because he got punched on accident.

Yours truly,

Moe Familia, OPP trainee lawyer

Edited by Moe Familia

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With the return of the MCV court we will see less officers charging for crimes using "alpha magistrate" as it is called. The reason that it is always the arresting officer (if possible) is because charges have to be beyond a reasonable doubt to apply. Thus the officer who apprehended or was participating in the arrest of a suspect is the first choice. Sometimes you will see officers hand off a suspect to general-duties to process because they are needed elsewhere urgently. This is normally with a list of charges that need to be applied and ideally a brief explanation of what happened.

You want arresting officers to be charging officers as a lawyer because only these officers can give you the facts of the case (to be paired with your clients) and only these officers know enough to allow a lawyer to argue for lesser charges with the officer when MCV is not available.

Also as a matter of policy to protect VICPOL for appeals arresting officers need to be charging officers so that arrest reports can be written and the most knowledgeable person can be questioned as to why this or that charge was applied. If you feel officers are discouraging lawyer interactions with their clients or are ignoring beyond a reasonable doubt as a requirement you can always appeal to the court for malicious or reckless prosecution/sentencing or inform VICPOL Leadership of the officers unprofessionalism.

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