Thursday, February 28, 2013

DUI Cop and Defense Attorney work together to get suspect's dog adopted

Earlier this week I wrote a blog about the embattled Utah DUI Trooper who has been fired and is facing several lawsuits for bogus DUI arrests.  As a DUI Defense Attorney I find her actions and behavior completely appalling.  However this type of Cop is on one side of the spectrum, there are plenty other officers who I respect and admire on the other end.  Here is a story about a Seattle Police Officer I know and respect going beyond his "official duties."

You can check out the article here.  But basically the DUI Officer here in Seattle arrested man accused of DUI earlier in the week.  The suspect had a German shepherd dog in his vehicle.  Normally this wouldn't be an issue I suspect.  I have represented several people who have been arrested with animals in their vehicle.  In those cases the arresting Officers allowed my clients to make arrangements to have their animals picked up.  Or in one case the arresting Officer took the dog with my client to the precinct.  Processed my client for DUI, and then released her and her dog afterwards.  

But in this particular case the suspect was getting booked into custody not only because of the DUI but also because of a warrant for his arrest out of California.  Unfortunately for his dog he not only was getting booked into custody, but it also appears he going to be extradited back to California to address this warrant.  So there was nowhere for this dog to go.  I guess the guy didnt have any family or friends here in Seattle, and nobody could be contacted in California.  I'm not sure if there is a policy in the Seattle Police Department on what to do in this type of situation.  But imagine there are some Officers who would just drop the dog off at the animal shelter and be done with it, and who can really blame them.  I mean it is probably not in their official duties to babysit animals of people they arrest. 

But not his particular Officer.  As the article describes he went way beyond his duties in this particular case.  After the suspect was arrested he allowed the dog to sit in the backseat with her owner.  After the suspect was arrested he took the dog to the Animal Shelter.  But he didn't stop there.  He posted a message on his own personal Facebook about the dog, and asked if anyone knew of any families wishing to adopt. Additionally he got in touch with the suspect's defense attorney to check in and try to find a new home for this lovely animal.

As both a dog lover, and a DUI defense Attorney this story really tugs at my heart strings.  I have a dog who my family loves dearly.  If anything were to happen to me or my family I would hope someone would have the heart to look after my dog, and try to find a new home for him.  The fact that this particular Officer did this after an arrest when he could have just went home and never thought twice about it shows the type of character and compassion he has. 

My law firm has had several cases with this particular Officer and I have always found his work to be very thorough and well prepared.  But what has always impressed me his the integrity he seems to have when dealing with these type of cases and with me.  Additionally of all the Officers I deal with on a regular basis he is one of the few who treats my clients with respect, and seems to understand that many of the people he arrests simply made a mistake and he doesn't crucify them or he isn't a jerk to them afterwards.  In my opinion he is a stand up guy and this story just reaffirms what I have always thought of him. 

You see not all stories I blog about are negative when he comes to law enforcement :)

Matthew A. Leyba is a DUI lawyer in Seattle, WA.  His practice focuses on representing those accused of DUI and other alcohol related offenses.  If you have been arrested contact my office immediately to speak with an experienced attorney to discuss your rights and options.  

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