A Montgomery County Police Officer is under investigation for perjury after giving false testimony in a DUI case. Officer Dina Hoffman made a DUI arrest on 56 year old George Zaliev. Video at the scene shows he wasn’t driving at all, however.
A nearby surveillance camera caught the whole arrest on tape from the moment Hoffman arrived at the scene. In her report and in court she testified that when she arrived Zaliev was behind the wheel with the engine running. Video clearly shows, however, that Zaliev was, in fact, lying down in the back seat.
According to this article from ABC7 News Hoffman lied 10-20 times about occurrences during the arrest.
Obviously, once the discrepancies were spotted Zaliev was found not guilty by the judge, but Hoffman’s actions are certainly deplorable. It is not clear why she would fabricate such a story but she is now the subject of an internal affairs investigation. Interestingly, she is still on the job.
Accountability is huge in police departments. I find it strange that Officer Hoffman is still riding around in her patrol car after such a blunder. What will come of the investigation is unknown but it should serve as a notice to police that even when a camera isn’t on you, your ethics should keep you in line.
Being charged with DUI in Maryland is no small matter. If convicted Zaliev could have faced up to 1 year in jail and fines reaching $1,000. And this was only if it was his first offense. The more convictions you have on your record, the harsher the sentence is.
We’d all like to think that it is rare for the police to lie about what happens at the scene of an arrest. However, as a realist, I know it happens.
More than likely, however, you made a mistake and are ready to face the consequences. On your day in court you should have an experienced local attorney at your side to ensure you get the best results possible. Call me today to discuss your MD DUI case and see how I can help.