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Police officer mistakes and available remedies, P.2

In our last post, we spoke about a recent case in which a Baltimore officer was accused of false arrest. As we mentioned, it is important for those who believe they have been mistreated by a police officer to work with an experienced attorney to determine what remedies are available to them.

One potential avenue for remedying such a situation is to file a civil rights suit like the man in the case we’ve been discussing. That case, as we noted, involved the accusation of false arrest, which is a very common claim made against police. The basic idea behind such a claim is that the officer lacked probable cause to make an arrest, making the arrest invalid. 

Other possible claims in civil rights litigation include: malicious prosecution; use of excessive force; and failing to intervene in the violation of a criminal suspect’s constitutional rights. Regardless of the specific claim being pursued, it is important to work with an experienced attorney to build the best possible case.

In the context of criminal defense, constitutional violations can have other consequences. A common example is the possibility that evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search will be suppressed. This remedy is sometimes referred to as suppression of evidence, and must be requested at a pretrial hearing.

In order to prevail in a motion to suppress evidence, a defendant bears the burden of proving that the evidence was illegally obtained, or that some other constitutional violation occurred in connection with the evidence. In our next post, we’ll explore this issue a bit and offer some comments on the importance of working with an experienced attorney. 

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