The police will not always be on your side. This often becomes a reality when you interact with them during an arrest. Were you the victim of excessive force? If so, it’s important that you understand your rights in such a situation. The team from The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A. is here to explain excessive force and if you can file a lawsuit against the police.

What is Excessive Force?

Excessive force does not include minor bumps, bruises, scrapes, or even broken bones when it comes to filing a lawsuit against police for excessive force. Did you run from the police? If so, they might be justified in using an appropriate amount of force than what would be considered appropriate if you had cooperated with the officer. The same goes for assaulting an officer or if you are resisting arrest.

So, what is excessive force? Excessive force is determined by the discretion of the court, which will be tasked with determining if a reasonable police officer would use the same amount of force in a similar situation that was used to subdue you during an arrest. Excessive force can be proven by acquiring security camera footage, body camera footage, and even video footage recorded on mobile devices by witnesses at the time of the incident.

Can I File a Lawsuit?

So, a common question that comes up during these matters is often, “Can I file a police brutality lawsuit?” You are legally within your rights to file a civil lawsuit against the police officer who arrested you for police brutality. With a civil lawsuit, you have more control over the investigation that you do if you filed a criminal complaint against the officer and their department. The same goes for an internal affairs investigation. 

The majority of civil lawsuits ask for monetary compensation, which will be beneficial to a police brutality victim, especially if you suffered serious injuries. Many victims of police brutality do not have health insurance. That means they will need to find ways to pay for their medical expenses out of their own pockets. A civil rights lawsuit for police brutality can cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Criminal Complaint

You also have the option to file a criminal complaint against the officer and their department. More often than not, these complaints do not get very far, which is why civil lawsuits are more common. Police officers are allowed to use an appropriate amount of force when it is necessary. When they use force for no reason, they can be held accountable for their actions. Despite this, juries are less likely to convict a police officer for excessive force. This is why it’s best to speak with an attorney about a civil lawsuit.

Are You a Victim of Police Brutality? Speak to an Attorney Today

If you believe you are the victim of police brutality, it is in your best interest to speak to an experienced police brutality attorney about your case. The team from The Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A. will be able to explain your rights and if you can file an excessive force lawsuit against the police for their actions. Call our office at (973) 358-6134 today to schedule a consultation.