How a Police Misconduct Attorney Can Help You Through the Litigation Process

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Police Misconduct
How a Police Misconduct Attorney Can Help You Through the Litigation Process

Police misconduct occurs throughout this country, as so many tragic news stories have revealed. The Helbraun Law Firm zealously advocates for people who have been injured by law enforcement officers and by the institutions that prevent police accountability.. For too long, misconduct by so-called peace officers has  gone unchecked.  The Helbraun Law Firm stands with you in solidarity and support of your constitutional rights. If you or a loved one has been harmed by police misconduct, call our firm at (415) 982-4000 to speak with an experienced California civil rights attorney.

What Are Common Forms of Police Misconduct?

Police conduct is governed by the state and federal constitution, as well as various state laws and police department policies. Despite the clear rules that govern them, many police officers believe there will be no consequences when they break the rules. . Some common forms of police misconduct include:

Unlawful Detention

Unlawful detention occurs when law enforcement restricts a person’s freedom to leave without a legal justification. This form of misconduct is a violation of a person’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches or seizures. Supreme Court precedent says that the length of even an initially justifiable detention must be reasonable, based on all of the particular circumstances. Detentions can only last as long as necessary to determine whether someone has likely committed a crime. Continued detention of a person without a factual basis to believe a crime has occurred ise unlawful, and can be the basis of a civil rights claim against the police.

Police Brutality and Use of Excessive Force

Unfortunately, our country has a deplorable history of police brutality and excessive force. For this reason, California lawmakers have established laws regarding the use of force by police officers. These laws state:

  • The authority granted to peace officers to use physical force is a serious responsibility and should be exercised carefully and in respect of people’s human rights and dignity.
  • Every person has a right to be free from excessive use of force by peace officers acting under “color of law.”
  • Law enforcement officers must carefully consider using force before administering it.
  • Only reasonable force should be administered when physical force is necessary.
  • The use of physical force must be based on the totality of the circumstances.
  • Lawmakers recognize that individuals with disabilities are significantly more likely to experience greater levels of physical force and much more likely to be involved in fatal police encounters.
  • Police officers should only use deadly force when it is necessary to defend human life.

Sadly, many people have been victimized by police brutality or the use of excessive force, including individuals subjected to baton strikes, canine attacks, repeated physical blows, or police shootings. Our firm helps victims hold police departments accountable for such unlawful actions.

Actions Conducted by Police Officers in Reliance on Racial Profiling

Racial profiling is the discriminatory practice by law enforcement of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime based solely on their race, ethnicity, or national origin. Racial profiling may implicate an improper, unwritten, custom or practice condoned by upper management, forming the basis for a claim not only against individual officers but against the entire department, as well.

False Arrest

Police may falsely arrest a person when they:

  • Arrest someone without a warrant when one is necessary
  • Arrest someone without probable cause to believe they committed a crime
  • Lie to a judge to get a search or arrest warrant

Being arrested can be a terrifying experience, especially when you have done nothing to deserve it. Our firm can fight to protect your rights following such illegal action.

Inappropriate Use of Police Dogs

Police may sometimes use canines to seize a person by force or to conduct narcotics or explosives searches.  They may detain a driver for a prolonged and unreasonable amount of time so that they can bring a narcotics dog to the stopped automobile.  Theymay command the dog to attack someone and prolong the attack, although such action is not necessary under the circumstances. These inappropriate actions can subject the officer, and possibly, the agency, to claims against them.

Sexual Harassment

Unscrupulous police officers may use their authority to sexually harass, coerce, or assault people they interact with, including women, or gay or transgender victims.

How an Attorney Will Help You Through Your Police Misconduct Case

An experienced civil rights attorney will know the relevant laws and procedures to advance your claim. Your lawyer can:

  • Determine the necessary agency to address your notice of claim
  • Contact the appropriate department’s Office of Civil Rights
  • Draft and file a notice of claim
  • Follow up to determine if the notice of claim will be further investigated or dismissed

Additionally, your lawyer can answer any questions you have and explain the remedies available to you.

Benefits of Hiring a Police Misconduct Lawyer

When you are up against powerful governmental entities with seemingly unlimited resources, you will want to better balance the scales by having a strong advocate in your corner. David M. Helbraun has successfully tried police misconduct cases to a unanimous jury verdict and has helped hold law enforcement agencies accountable for  reprehensible conduct that would have othwrwise gone unchecked. We have over 20 years of experience representing victims of police misconduct and can leverage our considerable experience to successfully fight for your rights.

Contact the Helbraun Law Firm for Further Assistance

If you believe you were harmed by police misconduct, call our firm at (415) 982-4000 or contact us online to speak with an experienced California civil rights attorney.

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