PBA Legal Defense Policy, Bylaws & Constitution
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- Mobile Messaging Terms and Conditions
Know Your Rights
If you are under investigation, remember, as a law enforcement officer, you have rights.
THE RIGHT . . . to have a PBA representative present during an interview
THE RIGHT . . . to know who’s in charge of the investigation
THE RIGHT . . . to know what the charges are and the name of the person bringing the charges
THE RIGHT . . . to have the interview at a reasonable time and for a reasonable length of time
THE RIGHT . . . to have any interview tape recorded from start to finish
THE RIGHT . . . not to be threatened, bribed or to have to listen to offensive language
THE RIGHT . . . not to be forced to resign
Notice: Legal Advisory
Police shootings, in-custody deaths, or serious traffic accidents
WHAT TO DO? STAY CALM
Have you been ordered to write a statement about an incident that may be investigated?
DON’T FORGET YOUR RIGHTS!
CALL PBA AT (561) 689-3745
DO NOT TALK to anyone until you have consulted with a PBA ATTORNEY
PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS The following statement should be written as the first sentences on any statement, report, or memorandum an officer is ordered to write when the officer knows or has a reasonable belief that discipline may result:
It is my understanding that this report is made for administrative, internal police department purposes only. This report is made by me after being ordered to do so by lawful supervisory officers. I have not been permitted a reasonable amount of time to confer with a PBA representative or attorney. It is my understanding that by refusing to obey an order to write this immediately, that I can be disciplined for insubordination and that the punishment for insubordination can be up to, and including, termination of employment. This report is made only pursuant to such orders and the potential punishment/discipline that can result for failure to obey that order.
The legal defense policies of the Florida and Palm Beach County PBA have an important provision regarding representation. If a member elects to secure representation by anyone other than the PBA (a private attorney, for example) that member is considered to have waived representation by the PBA. Once this happens, it is the PBA’s option whether or not to continue to represent the member in that matter. Please call the PBA office if you have any questions regarding this policy.
843.085 Unlawful Use of police badges or other indicia of authority:
(l) Unless appointed by the Governor pursuant to chapter 354, authorized by the appropriate agency, or displayed in a closed or mounted case as a collection or exhibit, to wear or display any authorized indicia of authority, including any badge, insignia, emblem, identification card, or uniform, or any colorable imitation thereof, of any federal, state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency, or other criminal justice agency as now or hereafter defined in S.943.045, which could deceive a reasonable person into believing that such item is authorized by any of the agencies described above for use by the person displaying or wearing it, or which displays in any manner or combination the word or words “police,” “patrolman,” “agent,” “sheriff,” “deputy,” “trooper,” “highway patrol,” “Wildlife Officer,” “Marine Patrol Officer,” “state attorney,” “public defender,” “marshal,” “constable,” or “bailiff,” which could deceive a reasonable person into believing that such item is authorized by any of the agencies described above for use by the person displaying or wearing it.
(2) To own or operate a motor vehicle marked or identified in any manner or combination by the word or words “police,” (etc.) Or by any lettering, marking, or insignia, or colorable imitation thereof, including but not limited to, stars, badges, or shields, officially used to identify the vehicle as a federal, state, county or municipal law enforcement vehicle or a vehicle used by a criminal justice agency as now or hereafter defined in s. 943.045, which could deceive a reasonable person into believing that such vehicle is authorized by any of the agencies described above for use by the person operating the motor vehicle, unless such vehicle is owned or operated by the appropriate agency and its use is authorized by such agency, or the local law enforcement agency authorizes the use of such vehicle or unless the person is appointed by the Governor pursuant to chapter 354.
(3) To sell, transfer, or give away the authorized badge or colorable imitation thereof, including miniatures of any . . .
(4) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL PROHIBIT A FRATERNAL, BENEVOLENT, OR LABOR ORGANIZATION OR ASSOCIATION, OR THEIR CHAPTERS OR SUBSIDIARIES, FROM USING THE FOLLOWING WORDS, IN ANY MANNER OR IN ANY COMBINATION, IF THOSE WORDS APPEAR IN THE OFFICIAL NAME OF THE ORGANIZATIONS OR ASSOCIATIONS.