“Having that legal representation is priceless. In 30 seconds, my life was turned upside down.” – Sal Martinez, CSLEA/CABCA member
SACRAMENTO - What California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Member Sal Martinez experienced after he was the victim in an off-duty, possible hit and run vehicle accident was more than anyone could have imagined. Even though he was the victim in this accident, and acted as most peace officers would have, Sutter County District Attorney Amanda Hopper chose to prosecute Martinez for assault with a deadly weapon and brandishing. He was also fired from his job as a California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agent. In the period of 18 months, the CSLEA Legal Defense Fund (LDF) and team of attorneys fought for his innocence and his career.
“Agent Martinez experienced what no peace officer should have to go through, and learned firsthand how crucial it is to have access to CSLEA’s Legal Defense Fund,” said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. “He is aware, without it, he may have lost his home and his savings to pay for attorneys to represent him throughout the criminal trial process and to get his job back. I am grateful for the outcomes and Agent Martinez’s desire to share his experience with our members.”
Acquitted by a jury of his peers and back to work as an ABC agent, Martinez stresses the importance of CSLEA membership and access to LDF.
“I invite our members to watch the video below as Agent Martinez assists CSLEA Chief Counsel Kasey Clark in sharing the successful legal defense of a sworn peace officer,” said Barcelona. “You’ll see what happened to Agent Martinez in February 2016 and hear about the challenges and roadblocks he encountered in the 18 months that followed.”