If an arresting officer is personal friends with the defendant, can I have the case dismissed?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If an arresting officer is personal friends with the defendant, can I have the case dismissed?

I got into a fist fight with another man; I have claimed I was acting in self-defense. There are no

other witnesses to this event other than the two of us. I was charged with aggravated assault

misdemeanor only. The arresting officer is personal friends with the man I fought and was seen bowling with him a week after the incident. Does that pose any issues with the case?

Asked on January 24, 2018 under Criminal Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is not grounds for dismissal; there is no "conflict of interest" law or rule stating that an office cannot arrest someone who has an altercation with the officer's friend. It may be grounds to attack ("impeach" is the legal term) the officer's testimony at trial, if you can convince the court that he is testifying the way he does out of friendship and not truthfully. Of course, if the officer was not a witness, as you indicate, this will not help you: since the government will not be relying on his testimony to prove its case, weakening his credibility does not impact their case.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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