Police misconduct is a general term that refers to any wrongful actions taken by police, including police brutality, assault, excessive force, harassment, false or warrantless arrests, malicious prosecution, and illegal search and seizure. In general, police cannot engage in conduct that deprives any person of any of their constitutional rights. Both the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution make police misconduct unconstitutional.
While police misconduct is a crime and those who commit it face criminal penalties, victims of the misconduct can also seek civil recovery. If you have been the victim of police misconduct, you have the right to recover significant damages to compensate you for any medical expenses incurred and the pain and suffering you had to endure. If the misconduct was reckless, you might even be able to recover punitive damages as well. Civil lawsuits serve to punish those who abuse their power and prevent others from suffering mistreatment.
Although police brutality includes blatant assault and abuse before, during, and after arrest, it can also include misconduct such as:
- Securing handcuffs so tight that they cause damage requiring medical treatment
- Assault by an officer or multiple officers
- Police spraying pepper spray after an arrest has occurred
- Law enforcement failing to provide medical treatment for injured suspects
Illegal Search and Seizure
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects all citizens from undergoing any illegal searches and seizures of both their property and person. This highly complex area of law involves detailed constitutional and factual analyses. Generally, for a search and seizure to be legal, the police must have probable cause and a valid warrant that gives details regarding the place or person to be searched and the items the police are looking for.
Although the language of the Amendment itself is clear, the United States Supreme Court has heard countless arguments regarding various exceptions and finer points in the law. To challenge a potentially illegal search or seizure, it is important to hire an attorney with extensive experience in successfully litigating these complex cases. John R. Williams and Associates have over 30 years protecting the rights of the accused, and our practice largely focuses on police misconduct and illegal searches. We have the knowledge, experience, and advocacy skills required to successfully argue a constitutionally-based case against the government
If you believe you have been the victim of police misconduct, you should seek experienced legal representation as soon as possible to preserve your rights. You have the right to sue to prevent the same mistreatment from happening to others. You may be entitled to recover for the damages you have suffered, but you must file a claim within the time allowed by law or you may lose the opportunity to recover for the damages you suffered. Because recovery for police misconduct involves suing a government entity, the time to bring a claim may be limited by law. Contact John R. Williams and Associates today to schedule a confidential consultation regarding your case.