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You left active policing – who will protect you in the next stage of life?

A frequent question Board Members of the Utah State FOP hear from retiring officers is “What happens to my legal coverage when I retire?” Until now, these Board Members haven’t had a great answer, but have worked diligently toward resolving this deficiency. Thus, the Utah State FOP is excited to announce that the same elite legal defense team that protected you during your career is on now your side through retirement by way of the Utah FOP Retirees’ Legal Plan.
The benefits available under the Plan were developed by retired law enforcement officers, FOR retired law enforcement officers. What’s more, the Utah State FOP has once again teamed up with Nelson & Jones, PLLC to provide the exclusive legal benefits available under the Plan. In short, the same attorneys who protect thousands of officers across Utah, can now protect you in your post-policing life.

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When you turned in your badge, they didn’t ask you to return your mindset, training, or dedication toward protecting your community.

Most retired officers still choose to protect themselves, their loved ones and the public at
large as armed members of the community. But what if you are called to take action – who will protect you in the criminal and civil investigations and lawsuits that will surely follow?

The Utah State FOP has teamed up with the same experienced legal team who respond to on-duty critical incidents, to protect the retired law enforcement community in Utah. To this end, the Utah FOP Retirees’ Legal Plan was created to offer legal coverage very similar to what you had while an active officer, with some important differences. As a retired officer, you no longer have a law enforcement agency standing between you and potential plaintiffs in a lawsuit. We are here, in part, to bridge the gap on legal defense fees.


As a former law enforcement officer, you recognize that the world isn’t always as nice as we wish. One of the realities is that if you were forced to protect your loved ones or yourself, you could be placed in legal jeopardy. The UFRLP has been designed to protect you, your family, your assets, and your freedom in five primary ways:


Criminal Matters for Using Force

If you were called on to use force to protect your loved ones, your community, or yourself, you will be the subject of intense criminal and civil legal investigations and potential lawsuits. In some cases, we have seen these incidents result in criminal charges! Just like the representation provided to you while you were an active officer with the Utah State FOP, the UFRLP provides UNLIMITED LEGAL REPRESENTATION for any criminal matter involving the reasonable use of deadly force to prevent death or serious bodily injury to yourself or another. The attorneys at Nelson Jones, PLLC have been at the forefront of representing Utah officers involved in critical incidents for the last decade, and no other firm comes close to the experience the firm has in defending the reasonable use of force. Now, the same legal team that responds to police shootings throughout the state can protect you after you leave the profession as well!


Civil Matters for Using Force

When you were an active officer, your agency stood behind you and paid for fees related to defending civil claims. Now that you are retired, you are vulnerable to civil lawsuits. The UFRLP does something no other defense plan can do – we guarantee up to $250,000 in legal defense fees, all led by one of the nation’s most experienced police defense firms. While the plan does not cover damages in the event of an adverse finding, the UFRLP provides the elite defense needed to avoid that outcome. Defending a civil lawsuit can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. With the UFRLP protecting you, you can rest easy knowing you have civil legal defense needed to combat plaintiffs’ attorneys who want to take your family’s assets.


Other Criminal Charges

Unfortunately, there are times when criminal matters can unexpectedly intrude in our lives. For criminal matters in Utah not involving the deployment of force, the UFRLP still provides up to $10,000 in criminal defense to its members. While rare, we have seen retired officers’ plans derailed by sometimes baseless criminal allegations. You worked hard for your retirement and pension – make sure you protect your ability to carry out your retirement plans!


Legal Appeals

You saw how frustrating the legal system could be while you were an active officer – can you imagine trying to navigate that system as a private citizen? The UFRLP includes the ability to pursue appeals that are critical, so long as that appeal has merit and is not futile. The attorneys at Nelson Jones have been successful in a wide range of appeals before the Utah Court of Appeals. The firm brings that same dedication to improving the legal landscape for retired officers. On occasion, there are cases involving members that have a set of facts that could improve future legal cases and rights that improve the lives of both active and retired law enforcement. If your case meets certain conditions, the UFRLP will cover legal representation through the demanding appeals process!


Discounted Rates for Other Legal Matters

Along the way of defending hundreds of officers in critical incidents, the Utah State FOP learned that the Utah law enforcement community had other off-duty legal needs. As a member of the UFRLP, you are entitled to reduced fees for those needs on a first-come, first-served basis. Family law and personal injury are just two of the discounted practice areas included. Don’t let decades of service fall victim to spurious legal claims that could cost thousands of dollars to defend. The UFRLP, in conjunction with Nelson Jones, has expertise from defending Utah officers in these matters, and that expertise is available at very affordable rates for UFRLP Members.

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