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Criminal law: Officer fired after arrest

An Alabama police officer recently lost his job after he allegedly made a false report regarding a shooting. The officer is charged with discharging a firearm within city limits, false reporting, and criminal mischief. This is apparently not the first time he has been accused of making a false report or mishandling aspects of his job, but it does appear to be the first time he has been charged for violating criminal law.

On July 21, the police officer in question called for assistance near a railroad crossing. He alerted other officers of shots fired at the location but did not complete his message to the dispatcher before going silent. Another police officer located the man's patrol vehicle a short while later, which he noted had bullet holes. The officer who made the call for assistance was found, not at the vehicle, but somewhere down the tracks.

According to reports, the officer appeared to be injured and could not speak. He was transported to a nearby trauma center for treatment, but hospital staff determined that he had been neither shot nor injured. An investigation into the matter concluded that the call for help had likely been a hoax. These allegations come after a 2016 incident in which he was reprimanded after making a false report for a public intoxication arrest.

The officer has since been fired from his position. Regardless of one's career, it is not uncommon for a defendant to face these kinds of consequences in his or her personal life, even before a conviction. For these reasons, creating a strong defense foundation is important for minimizing other potential consequences, such as jail time or fines. An attorney knowledgeable in criminal law can usually explain a person's options for pursuing the best possible outcome for his or her unique situation.

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