I am under investigation by internal affairs … now what?

Internal Affairs Interview Table

If and/or when you are notified that you are the subject of an internal investigation by your agency you have rights. The source of those rights come from the Florida Officers Bill of Rights, which will be discussed in greater detail in a later post. Your rights also come from case law. The most important right is your right to be represented by a lawyer/attorney. (The terms are pretty much interchangeable).

            I admit that the bill of rights allows representation by anyone whether a lawyer or not. The problem with that proposition is that a non-lawyer representative will likely not be familiar with the content and application of the bill of rights as much as a lawyer. A non-lawyer will more likely not be familiar with the case law that applies either. Does that mean that there is not someone out there who is not a lawyer but still has extensive knowledge in this area such as a union representative? No, it does not.

            Unfortunately, there are lawyers out there who know nothing about the rights of officers who are the focus of an internal affairs investigation that will still take your money. I have heard horror stories about such lawyers who put their clients in a worse position than if the officer had no representation at all. If you are going to want a lawyer’s representation, you need to do your homework. Make sure that they have extensive knowledge about the internal affairs process along with experience. Whether you choose to have me represent you or another lawyer, make sure to make contact as soon as you know that you are under investigation.

Martin White

I am a retired law enforcement officer and former prosecutor. I now focus my practice on representing law enforcement and corrections officers throughout Florida.