Birmingham police officer involved in alleged assault

A recent arrest in Birmingham shows that anyone can face criminal charges, even those who promise to protect and serve the public.

A Birmingham police officer, who has served on the police force for the last 11 years, was recently charged with second-degree assault. Few details are known about the incident, but police officials say it happened while the 37-year-old officer was off duty.

Birmingham police say they began investigating the case after the alleged victim reported the apparent assault. Police officials say they will launch an internal investigation as they are gathering more information about the alleged assault.

The 11-year veteran of the Birmingham police force turned himself in on Aug. 8. However, he was later released on bond. The officer will remain on the police force, but he has since been assigned to administrative duties.

Although an arrest has been made, criminal charges are very different from a conviction. Prosecutors must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Until then, an individual remains innocent.

In a situation like this, the accused would be wise to rely on an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney will investigate the evidence in a case to determine the best course of action going forward. For some, that may mean vigorously fighting the charges. For others, that may mean negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors.

People who are convicted of assault could face harsh penalties, including fines and imprisonment. In addition, a conviction could tarnish an individual's reputation. Because so much is at stake, preparing a strong defense will be critical in any criminal case.

Source: The Birmingham News, "Birmingham officer charged with assault after off-duty incident," Carol Robinson, Aug. 9, 2012

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