Police Brutality in California: Definitions and Defense
Law enforcement officers have a wide scope of entitlements, but they should never overstep on citizens’ rights on behalf of their status. Unfortunately, police brutality is not an unusual occurrence, and California seems to be a fertile ground for it, with high rates of police violence and police shootings.
Having been a victim of police brutality shouldn’t be passed on. Timely legal advice from experienced attorneys can help you or a person you know have your rights respected and bring to light offenses from law enforcement officers, as a way to raise awareness on the issue for other people who might suffer it as well.
What Can Be Considered Police Brutality?
During arrest, officers might deliberately use excessive force in a number of ways, from verbal threats or attacks and property damage to physical assault, battery or even death. This is usually related to racial profiling, another form of police misconduct. The California Penal Code classifies these kind of acts as unlawful assault by a public officer under color of authority.
What Are the Legal Options for Victims of Police Brutality?
An officer can be brought to face a civil court or a federal court and be criminally charged if found guilty of police brutality. The plaintiff can also be awarded damages if considered pertinent.
If you are under custody, you should go through any applicable administrative procedures before you file in court (this is how you comply with the Prison Litigation Reform Act and avoid your lawsuit from being dismissed by the court). Next, keep your deadlines (statutes of limitation) in mind. You’ll have two years and six months for federal lawsuits and state law claims respectively.
If you aren’t under custody, it’s important to get an assessment on the particularities of police misconduct law in your state. What burden of proof is applied to the plaintiff’s evidence? Is the jurisdiction or state immune against lawsuits from private citizens? What’s the expected statute of limitations? These are all questions that only a qualified police brutality attorney can answer.
Get Prompt Legal Advice on Police Brutality in California
Your best bet is finding attorneys that have broad knowledge and experience handling police brutality cases. They will use the mechanisms necessary to guarantee that your rights won’t be overlooked. It’s important that you seek legal advice and decide to ensure that your police brutality case is settled as a way to show people who might suffer it in the future that they can stand up for their rights.
Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California. Call or email us for a free consultation.