Las Vegas, NV – While the police are part of the government at the state, city, and county level, there are certain behaviors that cause them to be named as defendants in civil lawsuits. Lawyers do have the ability to sue police officers and the department or city that employs them, but there is a possibility that a settlement will not be reached or a jury will side with the police. Because of the difficulty in winning lawsuits against a police department, it is important for victims of police misconduct to choose an experienced lawyer who has already had success against police in the past. Criminal charges against the police can only be brought by government lawyers such as prosecutors. 

How can a lawyer bring a case against the police? 

There are various civil rights laws at the federal and state level that regulate the conduct of government employees, including police officers who misbehave. Attorneys and members of the general public are given power through this kind of legislation to hold police and other government officials accountable for abuses of power. In many cases involving the police, these lawsuits tend to be based on things like illegal violence and beating of suspects, false arrests, illegal detentions, and planted evidence to secure illegitimate convictions. Evidence of any of these kinds of behaviors can be crucial in determining the outcome of the lawsuit. 

The lawyer who represents the victim can draft a formal signed and sworn complaint that details what happened during the incident with certain crucial facts and details. The officer and their employer are named as defendants, and they are given notice and a copy of the complaint. All lawyers who are licensed to practice in the state can start any kind of civil case in a similar fashion. 

What happens after the lawsuit is filed?

Both the plaintiff and defendant engage in a process of responding to various filings and motions, and they need to exchange all relevant evidence through the discovery process. In police brutality cases, this tends to include things like videos and surveillance, pictures, statements from witnesses, and medical records of injuries. This process continues until both sides announce that they are either ready for trial, or have settled to end the litigation. 

If the plaintiff is successful, they are awarded damages or compensation to pay for their injuries as well as things like lost income and wages or psychological trauma caused by the police misconduct. It is also possible that the jury sides with the defense at trial and the plaintiff is not compensated. 

Getting help with suing police officers

USAttorneys.com is a website that helps people find lawyers in their city. People in Las Vegas and other cities can choose the practice area relevant to their situation and their location to get connected with a local attorney.