The presence of unethical and abusive police officers in the United States is a major issue that has recently come to light more prevalently than ever before. Fortunately, the law allows civilians to pursue legal action in the case of police misconduct. If you’ve been mistreated by a police officer, you can file a civil rights lawsuit against them and seek the damages you may be owed.
Although it’s possible to represent yourself in court, you should find an attorney for civil rights cases to represent you–your chances of winning the case and getting rightful compensation increase tremendously when you hire an experienced attorney. Of course, learning how to find a civil rights attorney and the benefits of hiring one for your police misconduct claim is the first step.
What Constitutes Police Misconduct?
Police officers in the United States are authorized to use force when needed to protect themselves and others. However, some corrupt officers abuse their authority when dealing with civilians and end up infringing upon the constitutional rights of the people they’re meant to serve and protect. Police misconduct can occur in different ways and can cause serious physical, emotional, and psychological damage.
Here are some of the most common forms of police misconduct in the United States:
False or Unlawful Arrest
Before a police officer arrests you, they must establish probable cause for suspecting that you committed a crime or are about to commit one. If they detain you without any probable cause, it’s a false arrest.
Unlawful Search and Seizure
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits police officers from carrying out unlawful searches and seizures. Before they search or take anything from you, they must ask for your consent, have probable cause, or obtain a warrant to search you or your property.
The law prohibits police officers from using excessive force when making an arrest. If any police officer is violent or uses an unreasonable amount of force when performing their official duties, it is grounds for a civil rights claim. Excessive force by police is considered a criminal offense because it can lead to serious physical injuries or death.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives American citizens a right to liberty. A police officer might deprive you of this right by conducting a criminal search without probable cause. If a police officer wrongfully deprives you of your right to liberty, you can sue them for malicious prosecution.
Sexual misconduct occurs when a police officer uses their authority to assault or harass you sexually when they arrest or detain you. Victims of sexual assault by police officers often include intoxicated individuals, sex workers, human trafficking survivors, people of color, survivors of domestic violence, disabled people, and minors.
Why You Should Hire a Civil Rights Lawyer for Police Misconduct
Police misconduct is a serious offense that can lead to permanent physical injuries or death. If this happens, you need to take swift legal action against any police officer who abuses you. Given the complex nature of police misconduct lawsuits, it’s important to have an experienced civil rights attorney by your side.
A qualified and experienced civil rights lawyer is best equipped to handle the case on your behalf because they understand the laws and regulations that apply to your case and how to use them to your advantage; they also understand the kind of evidence needed to support your claims and how to obtain it. Once they’ve gathered enough evidence for your case, they’ll present it before the judge and jury in the most effective way to ensure that you get justice.
An experienced civil rights attorney will argue the case for you in court and negotiate damages on your behalf so that you’re fairly compensated. They know the possible hurdles you’re likely to encounter in the course of seeking justice and how to evade them for the most fulfilling outcome. With the right civil rights attorney, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the accused police officer is held accountable for their actions.
Finding a qualified and experienced civil rights attorney for your police misconduct case is easier than ever, thanks to qualified attorneys across America that specialize in civil rights lawsuits. With a reputable law firm like Strom Law, you are guaranteed to get the best civil rights lawyer possible who will make sure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.