For the most part, law enforcement does an adequate job in preventing, investigating and deterring criminal activities. However, all human beings are capable of error, dishonesty and corruption, with law enforcement being no exception.
In carrying out their duties, police offers are subjected to rigid guidelines and if these are not adhered to, misconduct can arise. If you find yourself facing criminal charges in circumstances where officers have engaged in unlawful practices, it is vital to bring this up in your defense. Recognizing some of the more common forms of police misconduct is the first step in this process.
The use of excessive force
While police officers are entitled to defend themselves and others, any use of force must be proportionate to the given scenario. Law enforcement has a duty to deescalate situations rather than exasperate them. Not only could excessive force have a significant bearing on your case, it has the potential to cause you injury and may even be fatal in extreme scenarios.
The fabrication of evidence
Officers may be certain that they have identified the correct suspect, but they also need evidence to firmly establish their case. On rare occasions, some officers may take matters into their own hands, by fabricating evidence to strengthen their legal position. Any conviction based on fabricated evidence is illegitimate. Most importantly, officers do not always identify the correct suspect, meaning that an innocent person could end up in jail.
For the criminal justice system to remain open and fair to all, it is crucial that law enforcement is also held to account. If you have been mistreated during a criminal investigation, understanding your legal rights will ensure that you are protected.