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Excessive Force & Police Misconduct

Darryl A. Stallworth Law Office May 19, 2022

Police misconduct consists of different unethical and illegal actions of police officers which violate a person’s legal rights. This often ranges from excessive use of force to planting evidence, police brutality, obtaining evidence through unlawful search or seizure, and abuse of authority. Unfortunately, a person involved in a police misconduct case may end up facing unlawful criminal allegations.

If you’re the victim of police misconduct or if you’ve been arrested or indicted for a crime illegally, retaining a highly skilled and aggressive California criminal defense attorney is paramount for detailed guidance and strategizing your defense. At Darryl A. Stallworth Law Office, I have the diligence and resources to defend and represent individuals unlawfully charged with a crime.

As your legal counsel, I can evaluate and investigate all of the facts of your case thoroughly and outline a strong defense strategy to contest the unlawful criminal charges against you. My firm proudly represents clients across Oakland, San Francisco, Alameda County, Northern California, and the Bay Area, California.

Understanding Police Misconduct

Police misconduct involves any unlawful, unethical, or corrupt act committed by law enforcement or police officers while carrying out their expected duties. Essentially, such an unlawful act might have violated the constitutional rights of an individual.

Examples of Police Misconduct

Some common examples of police misconduct include:

  • False arrest or imprisonment

  • Causing unnecessary injury to a person

  • Torture to force confessions

  • Unlawful detention

  • Committing perjury – lying under oath

  • Malicious prosecution

  • Excessive force

  • Sexual assault, harassment, or misconduct

  • Police brutality

  • Abuse of authority and privilege

  • Physically abusing and torturing suspects in police custody

  • Failure to intervene

Unfortunately, victims in police misconduct cases may end up facing a criminal allegation or wrongful conviction. A skilled California criminal defense lawyer can enlighten you about what may be described as police misconduct or excessive force and determine the best way to fight your unlawful criminal charges.

What Qualifies as Excessive Force?

Excessive force can be described as a situation in which a police or law enforcement officer utilizes force in excess of what is considered reasonably necessary to diffuse a threat, make an arrest, or protect themselves or other individuals from possible harm or danger.

According to California Penal Code Section 835a, “any peace officer who has reasonable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a public offense may use reasonable force to effect the arrest, to prevent escape or to overcome resistance.”

Furthermore, under California Penal Code Section 835a (b) (1), a peace officer is justified to use deadly force upon another person only when the officer reasonably believes, based on the totality of the circumstances, that such force is necessary:

  • To defend against an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or to another person.

  • To apprehend a fleeing person for any felony that threatened or resulted in death or serious bodily injury.

Any police officer who exceeds the reasonable physical force necessary against an alleged defendant may be held liable — or even face criminal charges for using excessive or deadly force.

Excluding Evidence Found Through Misconduct

The exclusionary rule was enacted to prevent the government from using evidence obtained in violation of the U.S. Constitution. According to the rule, the California court may exclude any incriminating evidence from being introduced during trial if the court finds out that such evidence was obtained through illegal means, misconduct, or in violation of the alleged defendant’s constitutional rights.

Hence, if the police officers obtained the evidence against you through misconduct, improper search or seizure, or using excessive force, your attorney may invoke the exclusionary rule. This will prevent such evidence from being introduced at trial. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can help you understand why police officers use excessive force and determine your best defenses.

Reasons an Officer May Claim to Have Used Excessive Force

A police officer may claim to have used excessive force on another person due to any of the following reasons:

  • Self-defense

  • The suspect committed a very serious offense.

  • The victim or suspect was resisting arrest or trying to flee.

  • The suspect appeared to pose imminent harm or threat to the police officer or other individuals.

  • The use of excessive force was required to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

  • The victim attacked the arresting officer while making the arrest.

A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can offer you the comprehensive guidance and aggressive representation you need to fight any unlawful criminal allegations against you.

Legal Advocacy You Can Trust

Police officers are expected to keep citizens safe by mitigating crimes and arresting offenders. However, some of these officers may fail to obey the law and abuse their authority. As a result, victims of police misconduct may find themselves facing unlawful criminal charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney can explore your possible legal options and attempt to establish your innocence.

Attorney Darryl Stallworth is committed to providing experienced legal services and advocating for the rights of police misconduct victims. As your legal counsel, I can investigate every detail of your particular situation and strategize an effective defense to fight any unjust criminal charges you may be facing. I will seek to invoke the exclusionary rule against any evidence obtained through unlawful search or seizure.

Contact my firm – Darryl A. Stallworth Law Office – today to schedule a simple case evaluation with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. I can offer you the highly-personalized legal guidance and vigorous representation you need at every stage of the legal proceedings. My firm proudly represents clients across Oakland, San Francisco, Alameda County, Northern California, and the Bay Area, California.