The police play a vital role in our community by helping maintain public safety and order. The law provides law enforcement officers authority to investigate, stop, and deter crimes to achieve the goals of the police. Police who perform their duties according to the law help ensure the safety of the community, gain the confidence and trust of people, and solve and prevent crimes.
On the other hand, when the police abuse their authority, their actions can lead to significant harm, even death, to innocent people.
Police Misconduct Comes in Various Forms
Police misconduct is basically any unlawful or inappropriate behavior by law enforcement officers and departments in their official capacity. These can include:
- Using Excessive Force – Using unreasonable force, given the circumstances of an arrest or pursuit, may be considered police misconduct. For instance, if a suspect doesn’t stop hitting an officer during an arrest, the police can use reasonable force to defuse the situation. On the other hand, if the officer continues using force on a suspect that’s screaming but otherwise cooperating physically, that would be considered police misconduct.
- Racial Profiling – This refers to police officers who target people for searches, arrests, and stops based on their race instead of behavior that shows criminal activity.
- Abuse of Power – If an officer utilizes their authority to coerce or force a confession, this may be deemed an abuse of their power.
- Unlawful Seizure or Search – The police can’t just search a person, house, or vehicle without reasonable cause. Without cause or consent, the police must obtain a warrant before doing a seizure or search.
- Detaining or Arresting Someone Without Lawful Justification – The police must adhere to specific guidelines when detaining or arresting people. To hold a person without reason or cause is a breach of their individual liberties.
- Sexual Assault or Abuse by Coercion or Force – This happens when an officer abuses their authority or exchanges leniency for sexual gratification or favors.
- Not Disclosing Exculpatory Evidence – The police can’t withhold evidence that might result in an innocent person getting convicted. Exculpatory evidence is any evidence that can exonerate a person.
Police misconduct usually results in civil rights violations or violations of an individual’s constitutional rights.
Discuss Your Case With a Skilled San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
If you believe that the police have violated your constitutional or civil rights in any way, you can count on the San Antonio criminal defense lawyer at Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC for legal guidance. If you get a criminal charge, our lawyers will work to ensure that certain evidence is excluded from your case. This could lead to your case being dismissed or charges getting reduced.
Our lawyers can likewise file injunctions to prevent unfair police practices and acts. In most cases, injunctions from misconduct cases can result in significant changes to law enforcement protocols. If you qualify for monetary damages, our lawyers can also make sure that you receive maximum compensation. Arrange your appointment with our San Antonio criminal defense lawyer by calling 210-222-9132 or contacting us online.