Police officers in Lake County, FL, minus their gun, badge, and authority, are people just like you who are required to follow state, federal, and local laws. Anytime an officer violates a law, it is expected that they will be held accountable for their unethical or unlawful behavior. Sometimes, this means they are punished by way of losing their right to patrol and other times, they are criminally charged and faced with fines and/or imprisonment.
Now, because police officers are given a significant amount of power which permits them to do things the average citizen cannot, if they were to engage in any of the following acts, they risk being charged with a crime:
- Excessive force. Excessive force “refers to force in excess of what a police officer reasonably believes is necessary” [Source: Cornell Law School]. For example, if a suspect is complying with officer commands and isn’t resisting, it would be unreasonable for the officer to taser them or fire their weapon at them given the circumstances.
- Sexual assault. Sexual assault “refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim” [Source: Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network]. Some examples include:
- Attempted rape.
- Fondling or unwanted sexual touching.
- Forcing an individual to perform sexual acts.
- Penetration of the victim’s body, also referred to as rape.
- Intentionally arresting someone without a valid reason for doing so. When a police officer knowingly arrests someone who hasn’t committed a crime, they put themselves at risk of being criminally charged. Violating someone’s Constitutional rights and taking away their freedom by detaining them is not permitted and an officer who chooses to do so will face the consequences for their behavior.
- Fabricating evidence that results in a loss of liberty to another. Fabricating evidence just to make an arrest or convict someone is yet another act police offices are forbidden to engage in. In the event a Lake County, FL officer is found guilty of fabricating evidence that was used to charge or convict someone, they could face criminal charges of their own that carry fines and possibly even jail time.
[Source: The United States Department of Justice].
As you can see, there are times when the government, given there is enough evidence, will file criminal charges against an officer of the law, however, it doesn’t mean they will be convicted of those charges. Being charged with a crime simply means the officer allegedly committed it and being convicted means they have been found guilty. Unfortunately, it is very rare for a police officer to be convicted of misconduct, that is unless a victim of the misconduct has hired an experienced FL police brutality attorney to represent them.
With that in mind, if you or someone you know has been physically harmed, harassed, mistreated, or sexually assaulted by a police officer in Lake County, FL and would like a legal expert to help you press charges against him/her, you will need to contact USAttorneys.com. We can connect you with some of the best police brutality lawyers available in Lake County, FL who have a great deal of experience in handling cases involving police misconduct.