Our police misconduct attorneys help victims of police misconduct and sufferers of excessive force at the hands of law enforcement personnel and police officers. Police misconduct can take a variety of different forms, like unlawful detention, false arrest, and racial profiling. Misconduct victims and their family members deserve dedicated legal representation for their pain and misfortune.
Misconduct cases usually involve civil lawsuits based on civil rights violations. When police violate a person’s civil rights, the victim is sometimes entitled to a remedy. That remedy may include:
- criminal prosecution of the offending officer,
- a civil rights lawsuit demanding an injunction and/or monetary damages,
- a Bivens claim demanding monetary damages, and/or
- the filing an internal affairs complaint with the police department.
A California police misconduct attorney plays a critical role in these cases. A lawyer can help victims by:
- making sure they receive immediate medical care,
- managing their ongoing medical treatment,
- advising them of their legal rights and options,
- filing an injunction to try and stop inappropriate police acts,
- working to get any evidence of a criminal charge dismissed, and
- filing a lawsuit on their behalf.
The Shouse Law Group is a California-based law firm that represents victims in police brutality and police misconduct cases. Our experienced lawyers work tirelessly for all our clients and seek to get you the biggest settlement possible. Call today to get the legal representation you deserve.
What are common forms of police misconduct?
Police misconduct refers to inappropriate or illegal behavior by police departments and law enforcement officers in their official capacity. Specific acts of misconduct can take a variety of different forms. Some of the most common include:
- unlawful detention,1
- false imprisonment or arrest,
- the use of excessive force (including the over aggressive use of tasers),2
- relying on racial profiling,3
- conducting illegal searches,
- using unjustified deadly force, and
- committing perjury.
Misconduct by law enforcement agencies typically results in a civil rights violation or a violation of a person’s constitutional rights. Civil rights come from federal law or the U.S. Constitution. Some of the most common rights that are violated in police misconduct cases are:
- the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures,
- the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments,
- the right to due process before being deprived or life, liberty, or property,
- freedom of speech,
- police intervention without probable cause,4 and
- the right to privacy.
Who are police misconduct cases filed against?
A Los Angeles police misconduct attorney, or a California civil rights attorney, normally files a police misconduct lawsuit against:
- police officers,
- county sheriffs, and/or
- officers at law enforcement agencies, like the DEA or ICE.
A lawsuit can help deliver certain remedies to misconduct victims. Remedies include:
- the filing of an official complaint with the police department,
- a court excluding evidence from a criminal case, and
- a civil rights lawsuit through Section 1983 or a Bivens claim,
In some cases, pursuing these remedies can lead to a criminal case against the cop.
With regards to Section 1983 claims, these claims hold actors liable for civil rights violations done under the color of law. Section 1983 lawsuits can produce the following remedies:
- an injunction or court order designed to keep specific misconduct from happening again, and/or
- monetary damages.
The monetary damages from a Section 1983 claim can include:
- compensatory damages to compensate the victim for his/her losses,
- punitive damages to punish the police officer, and
- presumed damages to compensate the victim for the loss of liberty from the victim’s violated rights.
What is the role of a personal injury or civil rights attorney in a police misconduct case?
Attorneys can assist a victim of police misconduct in a variety of invaluable ways.
For example, a lawyer interviews misconduct victims to assess their medical needs and learn the facts of a case. An attorney can then help injury victims receive immediate medical attention and manage their ongoing medical care.
Once a victim receives appropriate medical treatment, a civil rights attorney will advise the person of his/her legal rights and options.
If applicable, the lawyer can take legal action by filing a lawsuit against any liable police officers or police departments.
The attorney can then work to gather evidence on behalf of the victim to help establish liability. If necessary, an attorney can hire an expert to help explain this evidence to a judge or jury.
Note that many police misconduct cases draw significant media attention. A skilled police misconduct attorney can step in and answer media questions on behalf of misconduct victims.
What are the benefits of a police misconduct lawyer?
Misconduct lawyers deliver a host of benefits to police misconduct victims.
For starters, if a criminal case gets charged against a victim, an attorney can work to get certain evidence excluded from the case. Exclusion could result in charges getting reduced or even dismissed in their entirety.
Civil rights attorneys can also work to file injunctions to stop certain unfair police acts and practices. The injunctions from successful misconduct claims can lead to significant changes in police department protocol. For example, they can force departments to:
- retrain officers,
- revise their official way of doing things,
- review internal customs, and
- fire offending police officers.
If there is a possibility for a police misconduct victim to receive monetary damages, an attorney can help that victim maximize his/her compensation. Skilled attorneys will not back down from liable parties and will refuse any lowball settlement offers. They also know how to find hidden value in a case to increase a victim’s payout.
Note, too, that the communications between a lawyer and his/her client are protected by the attorney-client relationship. A result is that a lawyer cannot disclose these communications without first getting a client’s consent.
For additional help…
If you or a loved one was injured from an instance of police misconduct, we invite you to contact our law firm at the Shouse Law Group. Our attorneys and legal team provide both free consultations and legal advice you can trust.
We work tirelessly to get you the maximum compensation available for your case. Our lawyers represent clients throughout California, including those in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Orange County, San Bernardino, San Diego, and across southern California.
- See, for example, Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968); and, Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405 (2005).
- See, for example, Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989); and, Hernandez v. City of Pomona, 207 P.3d 506 (Cal. 2009).
- See, for example, Floyd v. City of New York, 959 F.Supp.2d 540 (S.D.N.Y. 2013).
- See, for example, Cervantez v. J.C. Penney Co., 595 P.2d 975 (Cal. 1979).