Police Misconduct Attorney – Los Angeles & Orange County
Protect and serve, says the slogan emblazoned along the side of most police cars. A motto most police strive to uphold. But what happens when an officer of the law steps outside the boundary of public service and becomes a public menace?
Police misconduct happens when an officer acts outside his or her legal authority through the use of excessive force (police brutality), wrongful seizures or simply by ignoring your civil rights.
In order to claim police brutality in California, you must show signs of injury immediately following the incident and claim your civil rights were violated to a higher ranked officer. Evidence is the key to winning your case. Ideally, you should place a formal complaint to the arresting agency. Witnesses can testify on your behalf and one could have recorded the encounter, definitively proving your claims. A thorough medical examination will help determine the extent of the brutality and will help determine the damages you are owed.
Types of Police Misconduct
Police abuse of their authority takes many different forms. There does not need to be violence involved to constitute a major civil rights violation. To spot these forms of misconduct, first you must know your rights and how to exercise them.
Police Harassment: An officer continuously pulls you over or stops you on the street for arbitrary reasons, creating a pattern of abuse that can be considered harassment.
Police Shooting: It seems like every day we hear of the tragic increase in police shootings. Firing a weapon should be a last resort but all to often it is not. Many lives have been lost due to this unnecessary violence.
Excessive Force (Non-Lethal): There is a thin line between lawful and excessive force, but when an officer crosses that line to restrain a suspect, the consequences can be dire. The prevalence of cell phones cameras has brought this problem out into the light, but the violence still continues.
Excessive Force (Lethal): Through the death of Freddie Gray and Eric Garner, the public was made fully aware of the deadly consequences of excessive police force. In 2014 alone, over 1,000 people were killed by police officers.
Wrongful Arrest, Search & Seizure: You would think that the police were at least familiar with the 4th Amendment while enforcing the law, but sometimes that is not the case. Some officers will ignore your rights and conduct warrantless searches without probable cause or hold an individual against his or her will without legal justification.
Police Tasing Abuse: When is it necessary to tase a suspect to apprehend them and when is it excessive force? More and more, law enforcement officers are relying on their tasers to restrain citizens, not all of whom particularly deserve a whopping 50,000 volts to their nervous system.
K-9 Dog Maulings: Police K-9s are not trained to play nice and could easily leave you with long term scars and injuries. Was your crime so heinous you deserved a mauling by a large german shepard? In some cases, probably not.
Prison Guard Misconduct: Being in prison can feel like all your rights are stripped away. But fear not. We can help you assert your rights against unlawful actions by prison guards.
Jail Medical Neglect: Just because you are in prison, does not mean you do not deserve quality medical care. Prison officials are knowingly disregarding the law by neglecting your health.
Seeking Compensation for Police Misconduct
Launching a civil suit against your police department is not a simple feat, but a good attorney can make all the difference. When an officer crosses the line through use of force, or denying you of your constitutional rights, remediation must be paid. There are multiple types of damages awarded in these kinds of cases, depending on the severity of the misconduct or injuries sustained by the plaintiff.
Compensatory damages: These include damages such as lost wages (current and future) medical bills and hospital expenses, funeral expenses in wrongful death cases, and general pain and suffering.
Punitive Damages: These damages are meant to punish the police officer for a particularly flagrant misconduct, although most municipalities are exempt.
Civil Rights Damages: If your civil rights were violated by a police officers you can seek appropriate damages for this violation.
Speak to a Los Angeles Police Misconduct Attorney
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has hardly a spotless record when it comes to protecting the civil rights of the citizens they swore to protect. That’s why we at The Sehat Law Firm, police misconduct attorney is here to help. With offices in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Irvine and Riverside, we will assist you in standing up to the police and asserting your constitutional rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.