Updated December 21, 2022
Why Should you Hire a Lawyer for a TCOLE F5 Appeal in Texas?
The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (“TCOLE”)1 maintains employment records that can have long-term effects on licensed peace officers. That means an opportunity to put your best foot forward should an employment separation occur.
A less-than-honorable F5 report could mean the end of your law enforcement career. You will likely find it difficult to obtain an interview with another law enforcement agency since many law enforcement agencies do not hire an officer with a less-than-honorable F5 report. Therefore, it is important you hire lawyers who have experience contesting F5 designations. Your law enforcement agency will have lawyers representing them—why shouldn’t you? Let Walker & Taylor Law Firm help save your law enforcement career.
How the TCOLE F5 Appeal Process Works
First, an F5 Report of Separation of Licensee2, commonly known as an F5 report, details the circumstances under which an officer was separated or terminated from a particular law enforcement agency. Whether an officer resigned or was terminated, the head of a law enforcement agency must file an F5 report with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) at the end of the officer’s employment with the law enforcement agency. The F5 report will indicate whether the officer’s discharge was honorable, general, or dishonorable.
Second, if you receive a less-than-honorable discharge, you have the right to dispute the F5 designation. However, time is limited. You only have 30 days from the date you received the F5 report to appeal. If you fail to file a timely notice, you lose the right to appeal.
Third, the lawyers of Walker & Taylor will guide you through the process of filing a Petition for Correction of Report with TCOLE. TCOLE will then refer your case to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). A SOAH Administrative Law Judge will issue an Order setting your case for a contested hearing. During this contested hearing, the burden of proof is on the chief administrative officer of the law enforcement agency to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the F5 report of less than honorable designation is correct. You will also have an opportunity to present evidence to the ALJ. Because the law enforcement agency and their lawyers will present evidence against you, you’ll need experienced lawyers fighting on your side.
Get Help Now
As you can see, the TCOLE F5 Appeal in Texas can have serious consequences. Walker & Taylor will vigorously contest the law enforcement agency’s evidence as well as present evidence on your behalf. When we successfully challenge the law enforcement agency’s evidence, and they fail to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence; you win! The ALJ will order TCOLE to correct your F5 report designation.
Time is of the essence. Your law enforcement career is on the line. Don’t delay. To start the process, contact Walker & Taylor Law Firm.