When it comes to criminal charges, including those for
driving under the influence (DUI), there are various defense strategies. Occasionally, a DUI case
involves police misconduct and when it does, a skilled attorney can bring
the police misconduct to light, shattering the allegations, thereby discrediting
the case against a defendant.
According to the
United States Department of Justice (DOJ), “The vast majority of the law enforcement officers in this
country perform their very difficult jobs with respect for their communities
and in compliance with the law. Even so, there are incidents in which
this is not the case.” The DOJ goes on to say that “federal
laws that address police misconduct include both criminal and civil statutes,”
which cover the actions of local, county, and state officers. These laws
protect everyone within the United States, including citizens and non-citizens alike.
Common Types of Police Misconduct
In criminal cases, the DOJ may actually try to punish the wrongdoer for
misconduct, and the agency does this through imprisonment along with other
sanctions. Per the DOJ, “It is a crime for one or more persons acting
under color of law willfully to deprive or conspire to deprive another
person of any right protected by the Constitution or laws of the United
Types of police misconduct under 18 U.S.C. § 241 & 242:
- Sexual assault,
- Excessive force,
- Intentional false arrests, and
- Intentional fabrication of evidence resulting in another’s loss of liberty.
In order for the DOJ to enforce any of the above provisions, it does not
require that there be any racial, religious or discriminatory motivations
on behalf of the officers. So, if someone is a victim of police misconduct,
what are their legal remedies?
Aside from the suppression of evidence (where there are criminal charges
against the victim), and dismissal of charges, other remedies include
fines or imprisonment, or both a fine and imprisonment. However, the DOJ
says, “There is no
private right of action under these statutes; in other words, these are not the legal provisions
under which you would file a lawsuit on your own.”
In addition to the above, 42 U.S.C. § 14141 makes it illegal for local
and state law enforcement officers to engage in police misconduct which
deprives a person of their rights under the law. This law covers various
types of misconduct, including false arrests, coercive sexual conduct,
and unlawful stops, searches and arrests.
Are You a Victim of Police Misconduct?
Do you believe your DUI stop or arrest was unlawful? Were you somehow a
victim of police misconduct in Orange County? To learn more about your
rights under state and federal law,
contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. today.