Bothell Police Misconduct Lawyer

Police officers are supposed to serve and protect the public. When they take advantage of their power and misuse their authority, they could cause serious harm to people. Police brutality and misconduct is a serious problem. No one should suffer mistreatment or abuse from the police, regardless of their criminal history or background. If a law enforcement official hurt you or your loved one, you deserve justice.

A Bothell police misconduct lawyer could help you stand up to law enforcement brutality. A dedicated attorney could help you take legal action against police officers who have abused their power and violated your rights.

Claims Under the Civil Rights Act of 1983

Claims against a law enforcement officer for violating a person’s constitutional rights generally fall under the 42 U.S. Code ยง 1983, known as the Civil Rights Act of 1983 (Section 1983). This federal statute allows people to pursue civil claims against police officers and others who act “under color of law” and deprive a person of their constitutional, civil, or other federal rights. An informed lawyer in Bothell understands this law and police misconduct claims that fall underneath them.

Potential Defendants Under Section 1983

A claimant could sue any official who acts under the color of state law and misuses the authority they get from the state government.

Police Officers

In determining if a police officer acted under the color of law when they committed an act of misconduct, a court might look at the circumstances and consider the following factors:

  • If the officer was on duty at the time
  • If the officer was in uniform
  • If the officer was using official police equipment, such as a truncheon, gun, handcuffs, or even a police car
  • If the officer showed their identification badge
  • If the officer verbally identified themselves as a police officer
  • If the officer arrested someone

Police officers who exceed their authority during an arrest could be defendants under Section 1983, as could their supervisors, department, or the city.

Other State Officials

In addition to suits against police officers, Section 1983 also allows claims against other local and state government officials who exceed and misuse their authority. Jail guards who commit prison misconduct, prosecutors who maliciously prosecute a case against a person, or even school districts could be liable.

Federal Law Enforcement Officers

If a law enforcement official is a federal agent, a claimant cannot generally pursue relief under Section 1983. However, they can often seek damages under a similar claim, commonly referred to as Bivens actions. Federal border patrol agents, congressional representatives, federal prison officials, and Drug Enforcement Agency narcotics officers could all be potential defendants under Bivens claims.

If an individual has concerns about whether they could file a misconduct claim against a law enforcement official, they should speak with a knowledgeable attorney in Bothell to learn more.

Common Types of Police Misconduct Cases

To be successful in a civil suit against a police officer, a claimant needs to show that the officer violated one of their federally protected rights, causing them harm and resulting in losses. Many police misconduct claims involve excessive use of force, police brutality, unlawful arrests, or illegal searches.

Official wrongdoing also occurs when officers fail to take action, such as denying medical care to an inmate or person in police custody. Law enforcement officials who use racial profiling in traffic stops, frisks, searches, or arrests also commit police wrongdoing. A seasoned lawyer in Bothell has experience handling various claims of law enforcement misconduct.

Work with a Bothell Police Misconduct Attorney

Bringing a claim against a law enforcement official is not easy, which is why working with an experienced Bothell police misconduct lawyer is critical. A committed team of attorneys has handled claims against police officers and other officials who violated people’s civil and constitutional rights. They know how to skillfully and sensitively manage these claims. Make an appointment today to learn more about your legal options.