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Areas of Practice

Police Misconduct

Police Misconduct

Occasionally, you may find yourself in an encounter with police officers that leads to police misconduct. This can include an unwarranted search conducted without probable cause or your explicit permission, police brutality (unjustified violence leading to injury or death), false arrest/wrongful imprisonment, racial profiling, or perhaps other violations of civil rights. Provided sufficient evidence of police misconduct, charges against you may be dropped and/or you may be entitled to some measure of compensation.

For example, you may have a case for police misconduct if you were detained for too long or involuntarily by a police officer (remember that this typically does not apply if you do not register a verbal request to leave while stopped by a police officer), or if a search was carried out for no apparent reason and without your permission. Because police officers use various means of intimidation as well as symbolic authority to maintain control of a situation, it can be difficult as a citizen to determine whether your rights have been violated. While it may be in your best interest to comply with certain police requests, it is important to recognize that a request can feel like an order, but often legally remains a request which you have every right to decline, such as a request to look around your home, automobile, or other property. A warrant or probable cause to believe that criminal activity is taking place is necessary for a legal police search. That said, it can be better to remain silent, avoid any kind of resistance or contest to police requests. You will be better served by remembering your police encounter and gathering evidence after the fact, especially if injuries or damage to your property have been sustained. 

It can be difficult to prove police misconduct, especially when your innocence in the face of other accusations is being contested. Even if you are being prosecuted for other crimes, you may have a case for police misconduct. Of course, the authorities whom you accuse of misconduct are unlikely to cooperate or admit to their offenses. You should not be daunted, but instead seek qualified legal representation to ensure your complaint is properly received, and a favorable outcome reached.



If you (or a loved one) is a victim of police misconduct in Massachusetts, call my office at (781) 436-0316 and speak to a skilled Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer for free.

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