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Police powers and civil rights for citizens

In general, police officers have the right to exercise a wide range of powers to carry out their duties. There are, however, limits to the way officers can treat people when attempting to enforce the law. The law that gives victims of misconduct the right to seek justice is known as Section 1983. The statute originally passed shortly after the Civil War in order to stop oppressive conduct against freed slaves from groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

Section 1983 is intended to protect people from police misconduct like false arrest, malicious prosecution and unreasonable force. False arrest is the most common form of accused conduct. The Fourth Amendment provides protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, so officers must have probable cause before arresting someone for a crime like drug possession. If the police violate this due process, the charges may be dismissed.

Malicious prosecution stems from the accusation that police officers denied a person the right to liberty granted to them through the 14th Amendment. Victims must prove that a case that didn't result in their conviction had no probable cause and was brought with malice. Excessive force violations are often the most noteworthy because they can result in serious injury or death. The surrounding facts and circumstances are very relevant to this type of misconduct.

If a person believes that they are the victim of a civil rights violation by the police, they have the right to seek support and guidance from an attorney. A lawyer may examine the circumstances surrounding the incident and determine if legal action is worth pursuing. Holding officers responsible for police misconduct might be difficult, but a lawyer may use all the resources at their disposal to work for justice.

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Kirakosian Law APC
Historic Engine Co. No. 28
644 S. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Phone: 213-262-6729
Fax: 213-477-2355
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