Do you understand the ins and outs of police misconduct? Do you have reason to believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of some form of misconduct? Do you know which steps you can take to protect your legal rights?
Above all else, you need to understand the most common forms of police misconduct. This will go a long way in helping you pinpoint if something has gone wrong.
While there are many forms of police misconduct, here are a few of the most common:
- False arrest. In most cases, this is when a person claims that police violated one’s right against unreasonable search and seizure.
- Malicious prosecution. Do you have reason to believe that the arresting officer deprived you of your right to liberty (14th Amendment)? It’s not always easy to prove malicious prosecution, but it’s something to consider.
- Excessive force. Unfortunately, this remains a common problem throughout the United States. Even though law enforcement officials receive the best training, there are still times when an officer uses excessive force. Whether or not the force is reasonable depends on many factors, including the facts surrounding the situation.
- Failure to intervene. Did you know that police officers have a duty to protect the public from constitutional violations by other officers? For example, if one officer sees another using excessive force, he or she has the duty to step in to stop the action.
It goes without saying that you do your best to avoid trouble with the law. However, if you find yourself dealing directly with police, you hope that the officer(s) will treat you with respect and within the legal limits of the law.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. There are times when police misconduct comes into play, which can put you in an even worse position.
If you have reason to believe you were a victim of police misconduct you shouldn’t hesitate to learn more about your legal rights. Even though you have a lot on your plate, such as fighting against criminal charges, you should never step back and let an officer off the hook.