Members of the community often have harsh negative opinions of certain types of alleged criminals, such as so-called rapists and child molesters, and many have even harsher negative opinions and the greatest criticism for “dirty cops,” corrupt prosecutors, or other corrupt public officials. In other words, corrupt law enforcement are often quickly convicted in the court of public opinion because they have allegedly broken the sacred oath they took to uphold the law.
However, the good news is that the court of public opinion has no real jurisdiction or is of no real consequence in criminal matters. People’s opinions have no impact on the rights afforded to American citizens, including those facing criminal charges like public corruption, bribery, money laundering and other criminal charges related to a violation of their oath of office or badge.
Prosecutors face federal corruption charges in Miami
In a recent case, two Venezuelan prosecutors with the Attorney General’s Office are facing multiple charges involving bribery and corruption in Miami. According to the allegations, the two men received bribes totaling more than $1 million in exchange for not pursuing certain criminal charges/investigations. According to the Department of Justice report, “If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering and up to 10 years in prison for each count of engaging in transactions in criminally derived property.”
Fighting for the rights of the accused
Prosecutors, police officers and other public officials and servants have the same rights as anyone else when facing criminal charges. They have the right to freedom from unlawful prosecution and the right to a fair and speedy trial by a jury of their peers.
When defending police and prosecutors from these types of corruption crimes, I take a similar approach as I would when defending any other criminal defendant. I look to:
- How was the investigation handled? Was the purported evidence obtained legally? For example, were there any illegal wire taps or other violations of the defendant’s rights?
- Although not necessarily applicable what appears to be a long-term like this, but how was the stop and the arrest handled? Was there an illegal stop? Did the arresting officer have valid probable cause or a legal basis to stop search and/or seize them? Was there an illegal search or seizure involved? Did the arresting officer read the defendant his or her Miranda rights if questioned while in custody?
- How good or reliable is the evidence? Even if legally obtained, a lot of evidence is given more weight than it deserves. If a defense lawyer is tenacious in examining all the details, there are almost always some problems to exploit in the evidence.
This is simply the high-level look at the types of inquiries a skilled criminal defense lawyer would make when evaluating a case and mounting a defense. The men facing these charges in Miami have the same rights as anyone else charged with a crime, and their defense requires skilled, and likely aggressive defense.
As a federal criminal defense lawyer, Darryl A. Goldberg has defended clients against charges involving corruption of public officials, bribery, international laundering cases and related charges. He has represented prosecutors charged with drug crimes and police officers charged with everything from racketeering to first degree murder. In this capacity, he has represented many law enforcement officials in investigations all the way through very high-profile trials and investigations throughout the country. If you are facing charges of this kind, contact Darryl A. Goldberg to get the aggressive defense you need.