What does police misconduct mean?

There are specific rights that everyone in this country has. These are set forth by the United States Constitution. No one has the right to infringe upon these rights for any reason. Even police officers investigating crimes or arresting an individual who is accused of committing a crime have to comply with laws in Illinois and the Constitution. When they don't, people who have their rights violated may be able to take legal action.

Police departments are set up to provide considerable oversight over each officer's actions on every shift. Unfortunately, this isn't always how things work, so it is often possible for police misconduct to occur. The true battle starts when a victim tries to prove misconduct since the officers involved will likely deny that anything amiss occurred.

What is police misconduct?

Due to the nature of their work, police officers often become involved in dangerous and stressful situations. They have a legal obligation to step in when crimes or potential crimes are being committed. These officers can question individuals, but they must ensure they are not doing anything that violates that person's rights. Even if you are uncomfortable with being stopped, your rights aren't necessarily being violated.

Police misconduct means an officer did something that violated your constitutional rights or any applicable laws, such as if they used unreasonable or excessive force or falsely arrested you. It can also occur if you were maliciously prosecuted. An example of this would be an officer throwing a person to the ground or otherwise using excessive force even though they were being cooperative with the officers.

Steps to take

If you believe that police violated your rights, relay that information to your attorney so it can be determined if your rights were violated. Remember, police officers need only probable cause to arrest a person. There is some leeway when they conduct an arrest. They sometimes have to rely on information that might not be true. If they arrest you and the information is later found to be false, you cannot sue for false arrest.

Proving these cases can be a challenge. It is imperative that you write out your account of what happened and hold on to any evidence that helps show your side of the story. Share this information to your attorney to determine if and how it might be used.

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