Police face a standoff against angry publicEven though you may be under investigation or you are arrested, you continue to possess your constitutional rights not to be subjected to police misconduct. Police misconduct is a term used to describe a variety of inappropriate, wrongful, or illegal actions by police officers committed in connection with their official duties. Acts of police misconduct typically involve the officer or officers violating your civil rights.  State and federal laws protect you from being subjected to excessive force or unreasonable force by law enforcement officers. You are also protected from unreasonable searches, illegal seizure of property, malicious prosecution, false arrest or imprisonment, and other acts of police misconduct.

If a law enforcement officer has used excessive force or otherwise violated your civil rights, you need to consult a Michigan police misconduct attorney as soon as possible. The Clark Law Office fights for victims and families of police misconduct. You have legal rights, and we want to help you exercise those legal rights. Call 517-347-6900 to schedule a free legal consultation with an Okemos police misconduct attorney.  WARNING: You are under a strict deadline for filing a claim for police misconduct. Do not wait to contact our attorneys to discuss your options as a victim of police misconduct.

What Constitutes Excessive Force or Police Brutality?

Police officers are permitted to use force when necessary, but the amount of force used must be reasonable and necessary. Because each case is different, the amount of force necessary and reasonable varies.

Some incidents may require more force, such as in the case of subduing a suspect who is armed, resisting arrest, and attempting to harm another person or a police officer. However, the amount of force required to arrest a suspect who is cooperating should be far less than the amount of force used for the suspect who is armed and resisting arrest. In cases in which the suspect threatens the officer or another person with great bodily harm or death, the officer may be justified in using deadly force.

In many cases, the intent of the officer is an important element in whether the force used was reasonable or excessive. The events leading up to the confrontation can provide some context. In addition to witness statements, videos of the incident can be very persuasive when used during a police misconduct trial. The videos from dash cams and body cams provide strong and convincing evidence Michigan police misconduct attorneys can use to demonstrate the officer used excessive force for the situation.

Other Types of Police Misconduct

Many individuals associate police misconduct with the use of excessive force. However, there are other types of police misconduct claims that our Okemos police misconduct attorneys investigate and litigate. Examples of police misconduct claims that The Clark Law Office handles include:

  • False Arrest and Imprisonment

The imprisonment or custody of an individual without probable cause or a court order. An officer is not permitted to place an individual into custody without probable cause. Probable cause is the reasonable belief the person committed the crime if the officer did not actually see the person commit the crime. In addition to using other evidence, a Michigan police misconduct attorney will question the reasonableness of the officer’s belief to argue false imprisonment.

  • Unreasonable Search

Law enforcement officers can question a person if they have reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed, and the officer has a reasonable belief the person committed the crime. The officer may “pat down” the person to ensure he or she does not have a weapon.

However, there are instances when a police officer exceeds the officer’s authority to search a person or a person’s property. If an officer searches a person, enters a person’s home or vehicle, or conducts a strip search or body cavity search without a search warrant, probable cause, or exigent circumstances, the search may be unlawful. Evidence seized during an illegal search may be deemed inadmissible.

  • Malicious Prosecution

Law enforcement officers are not permitted to arrest an individual or begin a criminal proceeding without probable cause. If an officer institutes or continues a criminal proceeding without probable cause because of malice held by the officer against the subject, the person may have a claim for malicious prosecution. The proceeding must either be dismissed or end in an acquittal to file a claim for malicious prosecution.

  • False Confession

Police officers are not permitted to coerce or force a confession from a suspect. A false confession may be the result of perceived or real intimidation of a suspect. A police officer should not use force or the threat of force during an interrogation to elicit a false confession. Compromised reasoning may also be another reason for false confessions if the officers withhold food or water from the suspect or use exhaustion, stress, limited education, or mental limitations to obtain a confession.

  • Racial Profiling

Racial profiling occurs when a police officer uses a person’s race or ethnicity as the key factor to determine if the officer should engage in enforcement activities. The use of racial profiling is illegal under the U.S. Constitution, which protects each person’s right to equal treatment under the law.

Filing a Police Misconduct Claim

Police in Michigan looking to use excessive forceWhen a claim of police misconduct arises, there is often an investigation by law enforcement officials to determine if the officer acted unlawfully or unreasonably. However, individuals should consult an experienced personal injury attorney immediately to begin an independent investigation. Even though an agency other than the office that employs the officer may conduct the investigation to prevent bias, it is important to consult with an attorney.

Police misconduct cases can be complicated and difficult to prove. Beginning an independent investigation as soon as possible allows an attorney to obtain evidence that proves misconduct and damages before the evidence is lost or destroyed. In addition, you need a legal advocate who is on your side and is willing to stand up to law enforcement agencies to prove your legal rights were violated.

Compensation in a Michigan Police Misconduct Case

In addition to evidence of the misconduct, you must prove that you suffered damages because of the misconduct. Your Okemos police misconduct attorney compiles evidence that proves damages, in addition to proving the misconduct occurred. Examples of the damages that may be compensable in a police misconduct claim include:

  • Physical injuries, permanent impairments, broken bones, and scarring
  • Pain and suffering, including physical pain, emotional pain, and mental anguish
  • Psychological injuries, including depression and PTSD
  • Loss of wages and income
  • Bystander claims (a family member witnesses the abuse or injury)
  • Wrongful death

The amount of compensation you might receive for a police misconduct claim depends on several factors. Our attorneys can discuss this matter in greater detail during a free case review.

Speak to an Okemos Police Misconduct Attorney Today

Call The Clark Law Office at 517-347-6900 to schedule a free legal consultation. It does not cost you anything to determine if you were the victim of police misconduct. Our attorneys are dedicated to assisting victims of police misconduct in seeking compensation for the injustice they have suffered.