Police Misconduct Lawyer Near Me
Law enforcement officers play a crucial role in maintaining law and order across the country. Unfortunately, as we have seen far too often on the news or in our own lives, an alarming number of officers go far beyond their duties and so violate the legal rights of private citizens. While it is possible to hold these individuals accountable for their actions by filing lawsuits against them in court, doing so can be an uphill battle, especially for those without legal representation. If you recently had your rights violated by a law enforcement officer, it is important to contact an experienced Ohio police misconduct lawyer who can help ensure that your rights are protected.
Defining Police Misconduct
Police officers are generally immune from prosecution; however, there are a few notable exceptions to this rule, one of which applies when any individual whose power comes from a government agency willfully deprives another person of his or her legal or constitutional rights. Most people associate this law with a police officer’s use of excessive force or force that exceeds the reasonable level that he or she would need to use to gain control of a person during an arrest. While this kind of conduct is perhaps the most well-known example of police misconduct, it is far from the only type of conduct that falls under the federal prohibition against depriving someone of his or her rights. In fact, federal law prohibits a much wider range of conduct and behavior, including:
- Sexual misconduct, which involves any nonconsensual sexual contact with those who are in custody, including rape, as well as any sexual contact initiated by force or threat, and unwanted sexual contact like groping or touching;
- Purposefully ignoring the risk that someone in police custody will come to harm, including the risk that others will assault the inmate, either officers or inmates;
- Physical assault by a corrections officer who used physical force to punish, retaliate against, or harm an inmate;
- Obstruction of justice, which includes trying to prevent a victim or witness from reporting misconduct, as well as lying to officials during an investigation into alleged misconduct, fabricating evidence, or writing a false report in order to hide misconduct;
- Deliberately ignoring a person’s medical condition while he or she is in custody; and
- Failure to intervene, which involves an officer’s decision to allow another to violate a victim’s rights and often arises in cases in which a supervisory officer observes the use of excessive force and does nothing to attempt to stop it or who actively encourages such conduct.
Police officers are not the only individuals who are prohibited from committing these types of violations. Federal law protects private citizens from having their rights willfully violated also applies to:
- Correctional officers;
- Probation officers;
- Prosecutors; and
- Federal, state, and local enforcement officials.
These protections are not limited to situations in which an officer is on duty. Instead, the Department of Justice’s authority extends to all law enforcement conduct, including off-duty behavior, as long as the person is acting or claiming to act in his or her official capacity.
Police Misconduct Lawyer Near Me
To speak with a dedicated police misconduct lawyer about your own negative experience with law enforcement, please call Marshall & Forman, LLC at (614) 463-9790 or fill out one of our brief online contact forms.