Legal Assistance

The Miami-Dade Police Department Hispanic Police Officers Association, Inc. (HPOA), provides certain limited benefits to HPOA members who require legal assistance. The HPOA is not the Collective Bargaining Unit for MDPD employees or HPOA members and therefore, cannot and will not represent members who wish to challenge disciplinary actions or administrative issues, file a grievance, complain about working conditions or contest any other matters related to employment, collective bargaining or issues involving the work place. The purpose of the HPOA is fraternal, social and charitable. The legal benefits that are presently provided as a service to members are outlined below:

If an HPOA member is a subject officer in a police shooting, whether contact or non- contact, the HPOA, upon request, will provide an HPOA approved attorney to respond and represent the officer up to and including attendance at an inquest. The cap on legal fees authorized by the HPOA are $7,500 for a fatal shooting and $3,000 for a non-fatal shooting.

The cap on a non-contact shooting is $1,500. Officers who are the subject of a fatal automobile crash investigation are, upon request, authorized representation by an HPOA approved attorney up to a cap of $7,500 up to and including attendance at an inquest.

Should an officer become the subject or target of a criminal investigation, the HPOA will, upon request, provide an HPOA approved attorney to represent that officer on a pre-arrest basis up to a maximum cap of $2,500. Should an HPOA member officer become the subject of a PCB investigation with potential criminal implications, the HPOA will, upon request, provide an HPOA approved attorney to represent the officer at their PCB statement, up to a maximum cap of $1500.

Any costs attendant to the representation of an HPOA member such as investigators, transcripts, travel, or other out-of-pocket expenses will be covered by the HPOA up to a maximum of $500.

HPOA members or members of their families facing possible or actual criminal prosecution can consult with HPOA approved lawyers on a 24 hour per day basis at no charge. HPOA approved lawyers are on call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and may be reached by calling the HPOA hotline at (305) 594-1173.

The extent of HPOA representation is limited to police shootings, fatal traffic accidents, potential criminal charges, PCB statements and criminal investigations that are duty related. As stated, disciplinary issues, grievances or collective bargaining issues are not covered. A determination of on or off duty status shall be made pursuant to the definition contained in the MDPD Departmental Manual. Should a member become the focus or the subject of a criminal investigation that is non-work related, the HPOA will not contribute to the payment of legal fees. However, reduced rates by the HPOA approved attorneys will apply, should the member elect to privately retain an HPOA approved attorney.


To be eligible for legal assistance, you must be an HPOA member in good standing at the time of the actual incident.


In the event two or more members are seeking representation in a related matter, a determination as to the potential for a conflict of interest will be made and if that conflict exists, outside counsel shall be engaged.


The Association is not obligated to pay legal fees after an HPOA member has been arrested or indicted including any trial or appeal.
Members should be aware that their election to use an HPOA approved attorney initially may preclude them from being subsequently represented at trial or during other proceedings, such as disciplinary hearings, by attorneys from other police organizations who will generally reject applications for legal assistance if an officer has been previously represented by an attorney provided by another organization. HPOA members who elect to personally retain an attorney on the HPOA approved list for post arrest criminal representation shall receive a reduced rate for such representation, to be negotiated between the HPOA member and the respective attorney. The HPOA is not responsible for the payment of those fees, nor attendant costs.


The HPOA does not represent members in personal injury or workman’s compensation related matters. However, attorneys associated with the HPOA will be pleased to confer with HPOA members and their families regarding personal injury matters on a contingency fee basis. Discounted fees for HPOA members and their families will apply in such cases.


The foregoing schedule applies to Miami-Dade County, Florida and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Additional fees and costs will be incurred for representation outside of Dade County.


Should you, as a member, have any questions regarding these HPOA legal policies, please contact a member of the Executive Board or an HPOA approved attorney for further explanation.


In case of an emergency or a legal problem, the on call HPOA legal liaison may be contacted on a 24 hour basis at (305) 594-1173 or through the Miami-Dade Police Department Shift Commander (305) 596-8176. The HPOA legal liaison will then contact an attorney from the HPOA approved on call list, who will then promptly contact the member requesting assistance.