Defending Those Harmed By Police Misconduct
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 seasoned litigators and former prosecutors, attorneys at Konta, Georges & Buza, P.C. have unique knowledge regarding what New York police can and cannot do when they interact with civilians. Moreover, they know when the police conduct itself becomes criminal and when the victims of police brutality, malicious prosecution or excessive force can receive compensation.
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. Probable 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.”
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 determines 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 and may be entitled to a financial reward for having his or her liberty taken away without just cause.
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 malicious prosecution, a person needs to show the following three things:
- A legal action against the person was instituted or pursued.
- It was brought without probable cause.
- The legal action was dismissed in favor of the person whom the malicious prosecution was brought against.
Law enforcement officers are legally allowed to apply a certain amount of force when arresting a person suspected of committing a crime. Excessive force is when the police use more force than is necessary when they make the arrest. For example, if the police are arresting a peaceful protester with 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.
Do You Think You Have A Case? Contact Us.
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 Konta, Georges & Buza, P.C. today for a free consultation. Call now at 212-710-5166.
A lawyer at our firm is available 24 hours a day for arraignments.