Everyone knows the policeman’s motto, “Protect and serve.” Most of us have had generally positive experiences when interacting with law enforcement. But not everyone. Although police exist to protect and serve their communities, sometimes an officer can cross the line, if not even become abusive. If you’ve experienced New Jersey police misconduct, what can you do about it? Are police officers above the law? Don’t you still have inalienable rights? We’ll discuss this and more in this week’s post about New Jersey police misconduct.
New Jersey Police Misconduct Defined
First, police officers must protect the law, not stand above it. So they have to obey the law just like you. Yet, they’re granted a certain degree of authority and power so they do their jobs, using force when necessary. But just because an officer made you uncomfortable or offended you does not mean police misconduct has occurred. Here are examples according to New Jersey law about police misconduct:
- Excessive Force – To start, officers may use reasonable force in order to subdue unwilling persons. However, what is considered reasonable can vary. This can be difficult to determine in court, so you’ll need an experienced attorney to defend you if you feel you’re a victim of excessive force.
- Failure to Intervene – Next, if an officer uses excessive force, and another officer fails to uphold their responsibility to protect the suspect in that moment, that also constitutes misconduct.
- False Arrest – Then, the police need reasonable cause in order to make an arrest. Without reasonable cause, they violate the fourth amendment. This type of finding often leads to a dismissal of the charges.
- Unlawful Profiling – Lastly, stopping an individual solely because of race, religion, sex, etc. is unconstitutional. While this happens frequently, it is often hard to prove.
Know Your Rights!
Second, what can you do? You have to know your rights. Check out some of our previous blog posts where we explain your rights and how you can advocate for yourself. However, if you’re beyond that point now, then you need an attorney! New Jersey police misconduct represents a gross violation of your rights. That cannot stand. But trying to take that on alone can be unbearable. Who can you call?
Take Action Against New Jersey Police Misconduct
To conclude, you can call Mark Catanzaro. He’s handled scores of New Jersey police misconduct cases. He possesses a thorough knowledge of the law and a persuasive power to help his clients defend their rights. So contact him today!