Differences Between Minor And Major Police Misconduct
Police misconduct is a serious issue whenever it occurs, but it is also important to recognize that not all law enforcement misconduct situations are the same. Some actions experienced by crime victims are minor offenses while others are major violations of civil rights.
Understanding the differences between minor and major police misconduct can help victims determine when it is appropriate to take legal action and what the results of their actions could yield. If you are ready to seek justice, connect with a Baltimore police misconduct lawyer.
Examples of Minor and Major Police Misconduct
Minor police misconduct refers to actions by law enforcement officers that are serious but less severe than other offenses. Examples of minor police misconduct include:
- Verbal abuse
- Using excessive force during an arrest
- Improper searches
While these actions need to be addressed, they are generally considered to be minor offenses in the eyes of the law. As far as seeking a resolution, victims of minor police misconduct may be able to file a complaint with the police department or file a lawsuit seeking damages.
Major police misconduct refers to actions by law enforcement officers that are severe in nature and can result in serious harm to the victim. Examples of major police misconduct include:
- False arrest or imprisonment
- Physical or sexual assault
- Planting evidence
These actions are illegal. As a result, criminal charges could be filed against the officer involved. Victims of major police misconduct may be able to file a lawsuit seeking damages, as well as move their complaint through the Maryland judicial system when an officer is charged.
When It’s Appropriate to Take Legal Action
Victims of police misconduct in the state of Maryland have several options available to them, depending on the offense. What actions you should take in order to seek justice will depend on your unique situation. You could, for example, file a complaint with the police department, file a lawsuit against the officer or the police department, or seek criminal charges against the officer.
It is important to recognize there are timelines in place that need to be followed. In Maryland, victims of police misconduct have a three-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit seeking damages. Seeking legal counsel as soon as possible to ensure that all necessary evidence is collected and preserved is advised.
Once you have connected with a Baltimore police misconduct lawyer, they can begin to investigate the incident, gather evidence, file all the necessary paperwork, represent you, and negotiate a full and fair settlement. Police misconduct should never be dismissed or taken lightly, both minor and major offenses can result in pain and trauma. If you or a loved one have been a victim of police misconduct, talk to an attorney.
Have you been a victim of police misconduct in the state of Maryland? Discussing available options with a skilled attorney means you can move toward justice. Talk to the legal team at Iamele & Iamele, LLP to learn more. A seasoned attorney can share with you possible resolution options. Contact us to schedule a no-cost consultation.