If you have been arrested for a crime in Arizona, you might be wondering if a police officer crossed the line into misconduct. Even in the best state of mind, it is hard to keep track of your rights, but the experience of an arrest can muddle your thoughts even further. This is why it’s recommended that you meet with a Mesa criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest to discuss the specific details.
Understanding Police Misconduct
It is imperative that you understand what qualifies as police misconduct. It is a serious matter to allege that an officer crossed boundaries, but in order to successfully argue police misconduct you must be clear about what counts and what does not. This is a broad term that means any situation where a police officer violates the rights of a citizen.
Police misconduct might include forced confessions, illegal searches, false arrests, brutality, or false imprisonment. Some misconduct might be intentional, but other instances are the result of negligent or sloppy work. Regardless of the intentions involved behind an action of police misconduct, violating your rights is illegal and something that should be discussed in full with your Mesa criminal defense attorney.
What to Do If You Have Been a Victim
There are official avenues for reporting an instance of police misconduct. Most police departments will have a specific process to follow if you wish to file a civil complaint. These internal review departments will record and conduct investigations related to your incident. Although both of these channels are designed to collect information and evaluate it, there is no way for you to receive compensation or damages as a victim if you pursue this route alone.
You should discuss your options with your Mesa criminal defense attorney because an act of police misconduct could influence your criminal charges. You might also have grounds for a police misconduct lawsuit of your own. The burden in such a case falls to the victim to provide proof of the alleged misconduct, so you need to record the details of the incident in full as soon as possible.
What Evidence Might I Use?
In addition to your own recollection of the incident, there may be photos or videos that back up your claim. Surveillance cameras, witnesses recording the situation on cell phone, and even pictures you have taken yourself of the injuries may be important for crafting your case.
If the evidence in a criminal case against you relies on evidence or confessions obtained as a result of police misconduct, it could weaken the prosecution’s arguments against you. You must consult with your Mesa criminal defense attorney to determine how this could affect your outcome and other rights and responsibilities you might have under the law.
Police misconduct is illegal and unfortunate. If you have been a victim, providing police misconduct could be essential to the outcome of a criminal case. Successfully proving misconduct might also open up avenues for compensation as a result of your injuries.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.