For the most part, arrests for the California crime of DUI are without incident. The police pull someone over, suspect that he/she has been drinking, conduct a DUI investigation, and make an arrest. But then there are those times where something's just not quite right…the stop was due to illegal racial profiling, the cop used excessive force to arrest you, you were an innocent victim of police brutality.
Fortunately, even officers have to be held accountable for their actions…especially when those actions are despicable. When a cop violates your constitutional rights, you are entitled to relief under U.S. Code Section 1983. U.S. Code Section 1983 is civil relief, which means that the penalties are monetary. Offenders must pay fines…sometimes substantial fines…but they do not face incarceration.
However, if the incident that triggered the violation is also criminal in nature, an offender can face both civil fines and a criminal conviction. If you suspect that you or someone you know has been the victim of a civil rights violation, you should immediately consult with a California civil rights attorney. (Read our article about when California DUIs become "wobblers.")