If you are suspected of committing a crime, whether that be a DUI, a violent crime, a drug crime, or something else entirely, police officers may attempt to detain you, search you, or arrest you. While police officers certainly have the right to do the above when circumstances permit, police officers are not permitted to use excessive force.
If you believe excessive force has been used against you, you may wonder whether or not the charges against you will be dropped. Here’s what you need to know:
What Is Excessive Force?
When force is in excess of what is reasonably necessary, it is illegal. As explained by Cornell Law School, police officers have a duty both to not act with excessive force and to stop excessive force if it is being used by another. Excessive force may including using a taser against a person unnecessarily, shooting a person, or aggressively and unnecessarily restraining or using physical violence against a person.
What Happens if Excessive Force Is Used?
The use of excessive force is a violation of a person’s constitutional rights. And when excessive force is used, the affected person has legal recourse, including the right to file a lawsuit against the offending party/police department. In some cases, excessive force may also result in charges against a defendant being dropped or evidence collected (by act of excessive force) being withheld.
Consider the following example: In January of 2017, police in Texas arrested and charged Jacqueline Craig on counts of interference with a peace officer, failure to provide identification, and resisting arrest. Craig’s 15-year-old daughter was also arrested at the same time. However, when the arresting officer’s body camera footage was reviewed, footage showed the officer using excessive force during the aggressive arrest, even kicking the daughter when she was handcuffed. The video resulted in charges being dropped against both Craig and her daughter.
The use of excessive force will not always result in charges being dropped or evidence being withheld, but it is important to understand what your rights are during the criminal process, beginning from the moment a police officer approaches you. The violation of your civil rights could have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.
Contact The VanNoy Firm Today
At the law offices of The VanNoy Firm, our experienced Ohio criminal defense attorneys can help you to understand your rights and options when you are charged with a crime, and can guide you through what to do if your constitutional rights have been violated in the process.
We believe that every person who is charged with a crime has the right to fair treatment and competent legal representation. For the help of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Ohio that you can trust, contact us today by writing us a message, or calling our law firm directly.