Excessive force by police (also known as “police brutality”) consists of use of force greater than amount of force police reasonably believe needed to deal with the situation at hand. Excessive force by police can range anywhere from a simple assault to death. While police use of excessive force (or police brutality), in and of itself, is not a defense per se to a criminal charge, it may be relevant in determining whether the arrested individual is actually guilty of whatever it is that he is charged with.
Police use of excessive force gives rise to a law suit against the police. Excessive force can support a law suit under New Jersey law, under federal law, or both. The New Jersey foundation can arise under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act. Another very powerful New Jersey basis is the New Jersey Civil Rights Act, N.J.S. 10:6-2c. Still another New Jersey foundation is the New Jersey Constitution itself. The federal foundation is the United States Civil Rights Act. The statutory reference for that Act is 42 U.C.S. Section 1983.
Excessive force (police brutality) cases are not easy cases. They take a long time and they are typically defended vigorously. Increasingly, however, video showing police use of excessive force enables victims to prove their case.
In terms of attorney's fees, police excessive force cases are expensive. However various laws specify that a successful plaintiff can recover his legal fees from the government. This “fee shifting” often puts suing the police economically within reach where, without it, legal fees would be prohibitive.
Criminal Lawyers in New Jersey™ handle excessive force / police brutality cases. They are selective in what excessive force cases they will accept because of their need for high confidence of an eventual successful outcome. Criminal Lawyers in New Jersey™ routinely consider excessive force issues in the criminal defense matters they handle. Regardless, if you have an excessive force claim, Criminal Lawyers in New Jersey™ would welcome the opportunity to review your situation.