Police Brutality Attorney Denver
We live in troubled times. Many city streets have become war zones in which suspicion and fear are a regular part of the lives of those who enforce the law, and those who try to live within its boundaries. Our police, whose job is to serve and protect the community, sometimes make mistakes and overreact in certain situations. But if you have been a victim of the overreach or misconduct of police officers in Colorado, you have rights too. A police brutality attorney from Baumgartner Law understands your rights and can help you if they've been violated.
Understanding Police Misconduct in Colorado
Most states have laws prohibiting the use of police brutality and excessive force, but the major vehicle for vindicating your rights is 42 U.S.C. §1983, a law passed by the United States Congress that allows citizens to sue police officers and government officials for “deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws” of the United States. That means that when a police officer violates your Fourth Amendment right to be free from “unreasonable searches and seizures”, you can sue in federal court and win money awards. The law surrounding police brutality is complex and difficult to summarize, but the basics are:
- Generally, police can only lawfully use the amount of force that is “reasonable” under the circumstances. If they exceed this reasonable use of force, they violate your constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment (Protecting against unreasonable searches and seizures). However, the court will view “reasonableness” from the perspective of a “reasonable officer” at the scene. In assessing what a reasonable officer would do on the scene, the court will look at many factors, including: the severity of the crime being investigated, whether the officer was facing an immediate threat to his safety, and whether the suspect was actively resisting arrest or detention.
- Police enjoy a certain kind of protection from lawsuit called “qualified immunity”. Under this doctrine, police can only be held accountable for conduct that violates “clearly established” rights that a reasonable person would know about.
- When the police do violate these standards, they can be sued in Federal Court, and are subject to an array of damages, including attorney’s fees (for the underlying arrest and/or prosecution, and for the Excessive Force Lawsuit) pain and suffering, medical bills, lost income, and even punitive damages (often called exemplary damages).
In Colorado, a false arrest is an arrest that is made unlawfully, without probable cause or a warrant. It violates your Fourth Amendment constitutional right to be protected against unreasonable search and seizure and you can file a lawsuit under a U.S. civil code. Arresting a person with a warrant that was obtained by the presentation of false evidence, or based entirely on ethnicity or race are all false arrests. Arresting someone without any probable cause that a crime has been committed is also a false arrest, and a highly-rated police brutality attorney in Denver, Colorado from Baumgartner Law can help you prove that there was no probable cause.
Call an Excessive Force Attorney for Legal Advice
If you or a loved one have been falsely arrested or imprisoned, subjected to excessive force during a confrontation with the police, or have faced discrimination or malicious prosecution, you need the legal help of attorneys who understand the Colorado and Federal police brutality laws that protect you from the police. The police brutality attorneys at Baumgartner Law have experience in the area of law enforcement and can help you recover damages, such as wages you lost during missed work time from a false arrest, physical injury you may have sustained, pain and suffering, humiliation, the compromise of your reputation, and even attorney’s fees. Contact us for a professional initial consultation at (720) 626-9418 today. We serve Denver, Lakewood, Aurora, and Boulder, Colorado, and we are ready to protect your rights. If you have been a victim of police brutality or excessive force, you need a police brutality attorney who knows how to navigate the complex federal court system and who can get you the compensation you are entitled to. Lawsuits for police brutality are brought in federal court under 42 U.S.C. §1983, and are commonly known as “Section 1983 Lawsuits”. These cases are far more complex than typical Colorado State Court personal injury claims. For that reason, few attorneys handle this kind of lawsuit because they are highly complex, time consuming, and difficult to win. That is why it is necessary that you retain a police brutality attorney who knows how to litigate complex police brutality cases. Unlike typical personal injury negligence or intentional tort cases, police brutality lawsuits have very specific laws, time limits, and legal standards that a Plaintiff must meet in order to maintain a claim. The attorneys at Baumgartner Law understand and effectively use the Federal Court system to vindicate your civil rights and get you the compensation you deserve.