What To Do If You're A Victim Of Police Misconduct
Everyone assumes that the police are there to uphold the law of the land. They get involved when people are breaking the law, and they help to keep us safe in our communities.
For the most part, those are the things that they do - and they do them well. But, in a few rare cases, they get things wrong. They might do so by mistake, for example. Of course, there are times where the police do things they shouldn't do.
If you're the victim of police misconduct, you could be feeling isolated right now. After all; the law's supposed to protect you, not harm you! Everyone's heard of the "good cop" and the "bad cop." What should you do if you encounter the bad cop?
Today's guide will walk you through your options if you're a victim of police misconduct. Here is what you need to know:
Make sure you know what "police misconduct" is all about
The first thing to do is clarify that you are a victim of police misconduct. In a nutshell, it's a term that defines where police officers violate the rights of citizens. Examples include:
Abuse of authority; and
It's crucial you confirm the term describes what you have suffered. Filing a police misconduct lawsuit has wide-reaching implications for all involved.
Don't plead guilty to receive a lesser charge
According to the lawyertime.com website, "cutting" deals like that is a big no-no! Rogue police officers do this to try and justify their improper actions.
There are two reasons you shouldn't plead guilty when you're innocent. First, you haven't done anything wrong! And, second, you could destroy any lawsuit you wish to bring against the police officers.
Write a detailed account of the turn of events
While it is fresh in your mind, it is crucial you document exactly what happened to you. Even if you think some details are irrelevant, you should still note them down as well.
If possible, back up your statement with photographic or video evidence. That way, you will add more weight to your claim and ensure justice prevails.
Above all, you need to raise the matter of police misconduct as a matter of urgency! In an ideal world, you would do this as soon as the event occurred. That way, your claim will be at the forefront of the minds of all involved.
The problem with delaying claims of police misconduct is legitimacy. Prosecutors may question why it has taken you so long to do anything about it. But, if you start the process shortly after your experience, your claim is more credible.
Choose a good lawyer
For the most part, you will need to have a lawyer represent your interests in court. You don't need me to tell you how important it is to choose a decent lawyer for your case!
If you can't afford one, the court may appoint one on your behalf. But, many lawyers can offer a "no-win, no-fee" service so you need not worry about the cost.