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Police Misconduct and Excessive Force

When a law enforcement officer uses excessive force or engages in police misconduct to make an arrest, those facts need to be investigated to properly defend the criminal case. Civil rights violations such as police misconduct, police brutality, excessive force, or wrongful arrest can force the prosecutor to drop the criminal charges against the individual who was the victim of police misconduct.

Your attorney will need to act quickly to preserve evidence of the police misconduct, including obtaining surveillance tapes and other physical evidence before it is lost or destroyed. In some cases, your attorney will help you make an internal affairs (IA) complaint with the agency against the officer that engaged in misconduct. Any statement you make while your criminal case is pending can be used against you when the case is prosecuted. For this reason, it is important to listen carefully to your attorney before taking any action.

If your criminal case involves police misconduct and you need a criminal defense attorney to fight the criminal charges, then contact the Sammis Law Firm at (813) 250-0500. We take criminal cases in Tampa, Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, Pasco County, or Polk County, Florida.

Different Types of Civil Rights Violations

Civil rights violations can occur in Florida under many different circumstances, including:

  1. Excessive force and police brutality during an arrest or investigation;

  2. Violating the Fourth Amendment during illegal search and seizures;

  3. Making false or misleading statements in a police report;

  4. Giving false testimony or committing perjury during depositions or at trial;

  5. Failing to read Miranda warnings before an interrogation;

  6. Making false statements to get a search or arrest warrant;

  7. Conducting a search without a valid search warrant;

  8. Making an arrest without a valid arrest warrant;

  9. Racial Profiling;

  10. Coercing an admission or confession from an innocent person;

  11. Refusing to allow the individual to speak with an attorney;

  12. Improperly seizing and attempting to forfeit assets, money, or vehicles;

  13. Planting evidence; and

  14. Coercing a false accusation from a witness.

In many cases of police misconduct, the law enforcement officers will attempt to cover up their crime by trumping up criminal charges against the victim of their abuse. After a civil rights violation, the law enforcement officers will charge the victim of the police misconduct with obstructing justice or resisting arrest with or without violence.

Filing a Civil Rights Lawsuit to Obtain Money Damages

In many of these cases the officers know that their careers are on the line. If you believe that you have been the victim of police misconduct, excessive force, or police brutality in Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, or Polk County, contact an experienced Tampa Civil Rights attorney to discuss the impact the misconduct may have on defending your criminal case. Police misconduct can create a valid defense under Florida law for certain criminal charges.

In extreme cases, a civil rights violation warrants filing a complaint against the law enforcement officer and a civil rights lawsuit in state or federal court for money damages. Before you take any action in the criminal cases, including agreeing to enter a diversion program such as the Misdemeanor Intervention Program (MIP) or the Pre-Trial Intervention Program (PTI) discuss your case with an attorney.

Information Center on Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Cases

Tampa Civil Rights and Police Misconduct Attorney – Read more about Tampa Civil Rights Lawsuits from a fellow attorney in Hillsborough County, FL, representing individuals wrongfully injured after contact with local law enforcement officers including the Tampa Police Department or Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Tampa Civil Rights Lawyer – Find out more about civil rights cases in Hillsborough County from another attorney in the area. This civil rights blog called the “Protest Zone” provides news, stories, articles and more on civil lawsuits to collect money damages after a false arrest, malicious prosecution, excessive force, police brutality, Section 1983 Civil Rights claims and doctrine of qualified immunity throughout the Middle District of Florida.

This article was last updated on Tuesday, April 3, 2018

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