Oakland and Alameda Police Misconduct Lawyers Fighting for You

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Oakland and Alameda Police Misconduct Lawyers Fighting for You

While police officers have powers under state laws, they are not unlimited. In some cases, it is law enforcement who is the one breaking the law. Numerous laws allow you to pursue justice when your rights have been violated. The Helbraun Law Firm can be your voice when the police have wronged you, fighting them in court to secure financial compensation on your behalf. 

What You Need to Know About Police Misconduct

  • Under federal and California law, it is illegal for officers to violate your civil rights
  • If you can prove that police broke federal or state laws, and they caused you injuries, you may be entitled to financial compensation
  • In recent years, California has made it easier for victims of police misconduct to sue
  • You should hire an experienced attorney with an effective track record of taking action against police departments.

Contact an Oakland and Alameda Police Misconduct Lawyer Today

Attorney David M. Helbraun has over three decades of experience holding law enforcement accountable for misconduct. If you have been the victim of police misconduct, it is vital that you contact an experienced Oakland police misconduct lawyer to help you right the wrong. 

Laws Against Police Misconduct

Both federal and state laws prohibit various forms of police misconduct. Law enforcement cannot act in a discriminatory manner, nor can they use excessive force. In 2019, California changed its laws, allowing officers to use lethal force only when it is necessary. Here are some laws that can entitle you to compensation if you were a victim of police misconduct. 

  • Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act of 1871 – You can sue state employees, or others who act “under the color of law,” in violating your civil rights.
  • 42 U.S.C. § 2000d – Agencies that receive federal funding cannot engage in both individual instances and patterns or practices of discriminatory misconduct. To file a lawsuit under this law, you would need to file a complaint with the DOJ first. 
  • Tom Bane Civil Rights Act – This law is the state counterpart to the federal civil rights statute, and it allows for lawsuits against anyone who attempts by threat, intimidation, or coercion to interfere with your Constitutional or other rights under federal or California law. 
  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress – You may also be able to sue a police department under a state common law theory that allows for compensation when police have engaged in extreme and outrageous conduct, or they have acted intentionally or recklessly.

California has recently enacted a law that makes it easier to sue police officers for violating your civil rights. In the past, police officers freely invoked the qualified immunity defense, which allowed them to escape accountability under state law unless they knew that they were violating your constitutional rights when they were acting. 

Forms of Police Misconduct

Police misconduct is not just the use of excessive force. You have many rights that police can violate through their conduct. Besides excessive force, here are some police actions that could be the basis of a lawsuit:

  • False arrests
  • Tampering with evidence 
  • Sexual assault
  • Discriminatory harassment
  • Illegal searches

Statistics and Recent Police Misconduct Lawsuits

California has an average of roughly 10,000 complaints each year for police misconduct. Very few of these complaints are upheld. In cases where people suffer serious injuries that are non-gunshot related, 56% of them were unarmed.  

In 2022, police departments in the Bay Area settled multiple lawsuits alleging misconduct. In one case, the city settled with a Black man who was beaten with a baton when officers responded to a domestic violence call. The man’s leg was broken, and he will never walk normally again. In this case, the officer was charged with several felonies for excessive use of force on the job. 

What to Do When You Are a Victim of Police Misconduct

You can and should take legal action when you have been a victim of police misconduct. While the police department has power, the law may be on your side if your rights have been violated. Here are some steps that you should take:

  • Get the contact information of anyone who witnesses what happened and save all evidence in your possession
  • Get medical help immediately, so you can get documentation of your injuries
  • Contact the local police department to report the misconduct and initiate a complaint
  • Call an Alameda and Oakland police misconduct lawyer to represent you

Damages and Results from a Police Misconduct Claim

Police misconduct settlements and jury awards depend on your own specific damages that you have suffered. Our law firm has obtained multiple six-figure settlements for victims who have been injured or have had their legal rights violated.

In addition, a successful police misconduct lawsuit can put pressure on a police department to change its policies. Negative publicity and financial losses often convince a police department that it must do better. 

Oakland and Alameda Police Misconduct Attorneys Holding Law Enforcement Accountable

You should take immediate action to get justice when law enforcement violated your rights. The police misconduct laywer at Helbraun Law Firm fights for those who may not be able to speak up for themselves when they have been victimized by the police. You can call us today at (415) 982-4000 or send us a message online

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San Francisco, CA 94104

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