They swore an oath to protect and serve the public. Still, law enforcement officers in Bucks County can exceed their authority and violate the civil and constitutional rights of civilians. If this has happened to you, and you have suffered physical and/or emotional harm, you owe it to yourself to seek experienced and aggressive legal help.
At The Zeiger Firm, we vigorously defend the rights and interests of clients who have suffered from police brutality, including those harmed by excessive force, false or unjustified arrests, or false imprisonment. When police officers engage in misconduct in the course of their duties, we know what it takes to hold them accountable for their actions.
To learn more, contact us now and discuss your case in a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Bucks County police brutality lawyer. During your case review, we will help you to evaluate your legal options and explain how we might be able to help you.
Common Types of Police Brutality and Misconduct in Bucks County
Since The Zeiger Firm’s launch in 2005, we have focused exclusively on criminal defense and litigating civil claims that arise from the wrongful conduct of law enforcement officers and others. Attorney Brian J. Zeiger knows that some of the most common forms of police brutality and misconduct include:
- False or unlawful arrest – An unlawful arrest occurs when police knowingly arrest or detain an individual without probable cause, or when they recklessly ignore facts that indicate the lack of probable cause.
- False imprisonment – False imprisonment includes detaining someone for longer than allowed by the law or detaining an individual without sufficient probable cause.
- Excessive force – Use of force becomes “excessive” when it is disproportionate to the threat of violence posed by an individual to officers or to the public. It could also involve a police officer using more force than is needed to detain or arrest a suspect.
- Deadly force – This misconduct includes unauthorized force that has a significant risk of causing serious bodily injury or death or causing death through improper use of less-than-lethal force or devices. Shooting an unarmed individual, for instance, could be an unauthorized use of deadly force.
- Forced confessions – These confessions are often extracted by threatening suspects and their loved ones, and sometimes even by physically abusing or torturing them.
- Sexual assault or harassment – Sexual wrongdoing may include rape, non-consensual sexual contact, or making offensive statements based on sex.
- Racial profiling – Racial profiling involves undertaking law enforcement activities against individuals based on their race, skin color, or national origin.
- Strip searches – These searches are often intended to embarrass, humiliate, or sexually harass a suspect or detainee.
- Blackmail or coercion – This misconduct may include threats of criminal prosecution or violence against witnesses to secure the witness’s cooperation.
What Can You Recover in a Police Brutality Claim?
Incidents of police brutality harm the wider community by reducing public trust in law enforcement officers and their agencies. Victims may directly suffer physical, psychological, or financial harm as a result of police brutality that may continue to impact their lives for many years to come. At The Zeiger Firm, we will pursue a full financial recovery on your behalf.
In a police brutality claim, you may be eligible to recover compensation that includes:
- Medical expenses – All medical costs related to injuries or other medical conditions you may have suffered because of police brutality.
- Lost income and wages – You may need to take time off work to recover from your injuries. You may also be able to obtain compensation for lost earning capacity if you lost your job or other employment opportunities due to the harm you suffered.
- Permanent impairments and disabilities – These disabilities can affect your ability to work as well as your quality of life.
- Pain and suffering – This could include compensation for emotional distress, mental anguish, post-traumatic stress disorder, or loss of enjoyment of life resulting from the incident.
A Bucks County police brutality lawyer from The Zeiger Firm will help you to quantify your losses and seek maximum compensation.
What to Do If You Were the Victim of Police Brutality in Bucks County
If you become the victim of police brutality in Bucks County, you can take these steps to protect your legal rights and put yourself in the best position to pursue a claim for compensation:
- Avoid resisting arrest – You should avoid resisting even if you know that you are being falsely arrested by the police. Resisting arrest constitutes a separate crime regardless of your innocence. It can also justify the use of force by police, which may undercut a later claim for police brutality.
- Note any bystanders or eyewitnesses – You should try to get the names and contact information of any witnesses, especially if someone recorded the incident on a cellphone.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible – You want to make sure that you diagnose the injuries you suffered as a result of the incident. Take photos of any visible injuries.
- Keep copies of bills or invoices – You want records for all expenses you incur during your recovery as well as copies of income statements if you miss time from work or lose your job because of the incident.
- Do not discuss your case on social media – Your posts can be referenced in any criminal prosecution against you as well as during your civil police brutality claim.
Finally, speak to experienced and aggressive Bucks County police brutality lawyer Brian J. Zeiger as soon as possible to discuss the next steps in your case.
How a Bucks County Police Brutality Attorney Can Help You
To pursue your police brutality or police misconduct claim in Bucks County, you will need an experienced lawyer on your side who will know what it takes to build an effective case. At The Zeiger Firm, we can help you pursue your claim by:
- Conducting a thorough investigation – We will quickly launch an investigation into the incident, thoroughly review the facts and circumstances of your case, and identify the officers and agencies that should be held accountable.
- Calculating damages – We will carefully document your injuries and financial losses and estimate your future expected expenses. Our goal will be to identify all compensation that you are entitled to receive.
- Meeting all deadlines – A police brutality or misconduct claim requires meeting several deadlines. We will work hard to prepare a strong, persuasive case on your behalf and ensure all documents are timely filed so you can rest easy and focus on your recovery.
- Pursue maximum compensation for you – Attorney Brian J. Zeiger will seek to resolve your case through a full and fair settlement, but he will not hesitate to fight your case in court if that’s what it takes.
You shouldn’t have to navigate the legal process on your own while you are trying to recover from the incident. Our law firm will handle every aspect of your case for you so that you can focus on rebuilding your life.
Evidence We May Use to Prove a Police Brutality Claim
Police officers and departments enjoy sovereign and qualified immunity from civil lawsuits arising from the discharge of their duties. However, police officers cannot claim immunity from intentional or reckless conduct that violates the civil and constitutional rights of civilians.
To prevail in a police brutality claim, The Zeiger Firm will work to prove that officers violated your rights. Types of evidence we might use to prove your case includes:
- Eyewitness statements
- Cellphone video footage recorded by bystanders
- Police dashcam or bodycam footage
- Police station or jailhouse surveillance footage
- Arrest and use-of-force reports from your arrest or encounter with police
- Employment or disciplinary records that show the officers’ history of brutality
- Medical records from the treatment of your injuries
- Photographs of visible injuries you suffered
Causes of Police Brutality in Bucks County
Despite being trusted to uphold the law, police officers too frequently overstep their bounds and violate the rights of suspects and innocent civilians. Some of the factors that lead to police brutality include:
- Insufficient officer training regarding the limits of police authority under the law, civil and constitutional rights of suspects and individuals, and the appropriate use of force
- Officers holding overt racist or bigoted beliefs
- Subconscious or institutionalized bias or discrimination
- Failure to conduct appropriate investigations into misconduct or to impose discipline on officers who engage in wrongful behavior
- Police departments hiring officers who have been disciplined or terminated by other departments for misconduct
- Officers being unable to control their actions or making impulsive errors in judgment during stressful situations
- Officers engaging in vigilantism when they believe the system does not sufficiently allow for punishment of criminal behavior
- A “culture of silence,” or the failure of officers to intervene or report instances of misconduct
Talk to a Police Brutality Lawyer in Bucks County Now for Free
If you have suffered from police brutality or misconduct in Bucks County, don’t wait another day to contact The Zeiger Firm. Attorney Brian J. Zeiger has the knowledge and experience to help you understand your legal rights and evaluate your options for pursuing a claim against officers who have taken wrongful actions and harmed you. We also have the resources to help you to pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case review.