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Police Misconduct and Civil Rights

Police Brutality Lawyer New York

Police Misconduct & Civil Rights Litigation

While most people would agree that having a police force is a necessary part of urban life, they would also agree that police misconduct is simply unacceptable. As an experienced litigator and former prosecutor, John Buza has unique knowledge regarding what the police can and cannot do when they interact with civilians. Moreover, he knows when the police conduct itself becomes criminal and when people are able to recover financial rewards if they were the victims of police brutality, malicious prosecution, or excessive force. If you or a loved one is the victim of police misconduct, do not hesitate to contact John Buza, an experienced attorney, today for a free consultation.

To schedule your free case evaluation with our police brutality lawyer in Manhattan, contact Law Office of John Buza, P.C. today online or call us at (212) 577-9328.

False Arrest

When the police arrest an individual even though they had no legal right to do so, it is known as a false arrest. Generally, a standard known as “probable cause” must first be met in order for a law enforcement officer to arrest a person. Probably cause means that there is enough objective evidence for law enforcement officers to believe that the suspect has committed a criminal act. This is a low standard to meet and is far lower than the standard known as “beyond a reasonable doubt”. The latter standard is used to definitively find an individual guilty of committing a crime. Therefore, a false arrest is when law enforcement officers arrest an individual without meeting the standard of probable cause.

In determining whether the police had probable cause to arrest someone, a fact-finder (for example, a jury) would put themselves in the shoes of the arresting officer and would then determine whether a reasonably intelligent and prudent person would conclude that the arrested person committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. If the fact-finder makes this determination that a reasonably intelligent and prudent person would make this conclusion, then the police did have probable cause to make the arrest. On the other hand, if the fact-finder makes the determination that probable cause was absent at the time the arrest was made, then the person was restrained in violation of his or her constitutional rights.

If a person is restrained in violation of his or her constitutional rights, then the person may be entitled to a financial reward for having his or her liberty taken away without just cause.

Malicious Prosecution

A malicious prosecution occurs when the government has no legal right to charge you with a crime, but it did so anyway. In certain instances, an individual person can also be sued for malicious prosecution if the person who initially brought the lawsuit had no legal right to do so. To prevail in a lawsuit for a malicious prosecution, a person needs to show the following three things.

They need to show:

  • a legal action against the person was instituted or pursued;
  • it was brought without probable cause; and
  • the legal action was dismissed in favor of the person whom the malicious prosecution was brought against.

Excessive Force

Law enforcement officers are legally allowed to apply a certain amount of force when arresting a person suspected of committing a crime. However, the law dictates that they are restricted in the amount of force they are allowed to apply, and it must be appropriate to the specific circumstances of the arrest. Excessive force is when the police use more force than is necessary when they make the arrest. For example, if the police are arresting an individual who is brandishing a weapon, they are generally allowed to use enough force to make the arrest while ensuring that they themselves are not injured or harmed in the process. On the other hand, if the police are arresting a peaceful protester who has no weapon or intention of harming the officers, they are not allowed to simply shoot the protester without probable cause. You should be aware that the appropriate amount of force an officer is allowed to use varies from case to case and is usually subjective.

If you believe you are the victim of a false arrest, malicious prosecution, or excessive force by the police, you may have the legal right to a financial reward. Contact John Buza, an experienced police brutality attorney in Manhattan, today for a free consultation. Call now at (212) 577-9328.


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