In the state of Florida just like in virtually every state, suing a police officer comes with great difficulty. While you may be able to get compensation to treat damages, such as injuries, even if life threatening and/or permanent, you may not get the opportunity to hold them criminally responsible or liable for a violation of your civil rights. However, with the help of a police brutality attorney in Florida, you may be able to obtain compensation, or even prosecute the police officer who caused you harm. If you stick around, we will tell you how.
The Barriers to Suing a Police Officer in Florida
The main hurdle facing victims of police brutality who want to sue the police officers responsible for their injuries and their trauma, is a legal doctrine put forth by the Supreme Court of the United States. This ruling according to Third Way, “limits personal liability for police officers for conduct they undertake on the job. It governs the money damages victims of police misconduct or abuse might be able to obtain through the civil courts. It does not address whether police officers are subject to criminal liability for their conduct. The doctrine was originally created by the Supreme Court to shield government officials from novel legal claims, under the theory that the threat of personal liability would hamper efficient governmental service.”
Within this ruling the Supreme Court determined that the only way to hold a police officer personally and criminally responsible for their conduct, is by proving that the officer in conduct deviated, or broke ‘clearly established law’. The American Bar Association writes that “while this is an amorphous, malleable standard, it generally requires civil rights plaintiffs to show not just a clear legal rule, but a prior case with functionally identical facts. In other words, it is entirely possible – and quite common – for courts to hold that government agents did violate someone’s rights, but that the victim has no legal remedy, simply because that precise sort of misconduct had not occurred in past cases.” This ruling leaves victims of police brutality at the mercy of ‘precedent’. The only way they could prove their case would be with the help of an attorney who is familiarized with criminal and civil rights case law and can help them discover ‘clearly established law’ from which they can ground their case. But in the event that there’s no precedent available, police brutality attorneys can help you pursue a civil case in which you are monetarily compensated for the damages you suffered.
We understand that monetary compensation will not help you achieve the closure you deserve, but we also understand that when it comes to the emotional and physical wounds police brutality incidents leave behind, sometimes they can take years to heal, and having access to some sort of financial support can help ease the burden. For more information on a police brutality attorney in Miami, Florida who can help you, search our attorney database today.