A Miramar police officer found guilty in December of official misconduct will not have a felony conviction on his record if he stays out of trouble for the next two years.
The officer was convicted of official misconduct and falsifying records after being accused of illegally accessing a marijuana grow house and breaking open a locked briefcase.
The prosecutor was asking for a sentence of two years in state prison.
The judge in the case, Broward Circuit Judge Raag Singhal, gave the accused just two years probation. If the accused stays clean, the adjudication will be withheld and he can legally say he’s never been convicted of a felony.
This is an example of a free-thinking Judge exercising discretion based on what he believes is a fair sentence, despite the wishes of the state. While I do not like to see police officers convicted of crimes, everybody charged with a criminal offense should be afforded fair and reasonable treatment by the courts. Prison should be reserved for repeat offenders and violent offenders. First-time non-violent offenders, such as the officer in this case, should not go to prison. Probation is a fair sentence and I applaud the Judge for imposing it.
Attorney Eric Matheny handles criminal matters in Miami-Dade and Broward.