Police Misconduct/ Civil Rights
Understanding that police are often placed in high- risk, sometimes even life and death situations, they are afforded a certain level of protection from civil lawsuits. That level of protection is known as qualified immunity. In acting under the color of their authority, police are immune to lawsuits for mere acts of negligence, mistakes, and many "bad decisions." This level of protection is afforded to officers so that they can perform their important duties in good faith without having to second- guess whether their actions might cause them to be sued. You will not have a viable lawsuit against a police officer/ police department for mere negligence, or for not properly investigating a crime of which you were a victim, or merely because you believe you were arrested without a proper investigation. The police are protected from such lawsuits under qualified immunity.
HOWEVER, THERE ARE LIMITS TO THEIR PROTECTION.....
When police conduct is not made in good faith, or if it violates clearly established law, they may be liable to the victim for damages in federal court, under 42 U.S.C. s. 1983. In order to have a viable lawsuit, or for a lawyer to take on your case, there will need to have been clear damages to be recovered. Common examples of cases in which there are significant enough damages to justify a lawsuit might include 1) serious physical injuries at the hands of police, or 2) having served prison time for a crime that you were later released for, after it was proven that you were only locked up due to malicious and dishonest investigation (which would need to have already been established in the criminal case, prior to filing a civil lawsuit against the police).
In order to fully understand whether the police have acted in a way that subjects them to civil liability, your lawyer must have a comprehensive knowledge of criminal law and the rights of citizens. For this reason, criminal defense lawyers such as those at Urbelis Law have the working knowledge to best determine whether your rights have been violated by police, whether the violative action(s) went beyond mere negligence, and what if any damages you should recover. We have literally handled thousands of criminal cases and are up to date on all of the "clearly established law" that the police are required to know and follow. We can help you assess and determine the merits of your case, and provide guidance as to your options moving forward.
With respect to police misconduct and civil rights claims, we are able to provide a special service to our clients: YOU DO NOT PAY US UNLESS YOU GET PAID FOR YOUR CLAIM. That's right- you do not pay us a retainer or any money up front. After your free consultation, we will determine whether you have a viable claim. If we find that you do, and you are entitled to damages, and we decide to accept your case, we will front the cost of pursuing an action against the police. We are only reimbursed for those costs and our fee if YOU get paid for the claim. If you feel that you have been wronged in a significant way by law enforcement, you have nothing to lose by contacting our office to discuss your situation.
Free consultation: (617) 830- 2188