One of the most polarizing topics in America today is the issue of police misconduct. Whether it’s candid camera footage from cell phones or declassified body cams, countless American citizens are losing confidence in the way police officers and deputy sheriffs around the country are exercising their authority. While the vast majority of law enforcement officers act within the scope of their duties, there are outliers that give the rest of the profession a bad name.
Illegal search and seizures wrongful detentions are two most common examples of police misconduct. If you’re the victim of police misconduct, it may even require the talents of an experienced police misconduct attorney in Michigan.
Illegal Search and Seizure
Under the Fourth Amendment, it’s incumbent for law enforcement officers to ensure that prior to obtaining or conducting a search, they have a lawful reason for conducting a search in the first place.
A search constitutes two primary elements:
- Government- A deputy sheriff, police officer, or other law enforcement officer, whose powers are delegated by federal, state, or municipal governments.
- Reasonable Expectation of Privacy– Going into a place where a person has a tacit right to be free from interference without probable cause, consent, or a warrant.
Absent exigent circumstances, the government cannot search a dwelling, person, or conveyance without probable cause. In some instances, law enforcement officers can conduct a search if an individual gives them consent to do so, however, many times, officers don’t tell citizens the full extent of their rights.
This leads to citizens unknowingly giving officers consent to search without knowing that they can withdraw their consent to search at anytime and an officer must immediately cease the search. If an officer conducts a search without a warrant, consent, or probable cause, it is an illegal search and constitutes a violation of your 4th Amendment rights.
Illegal Arrests or Detentions
There are two situations where a law enforcement officer can place a subject in temporary or indefinite custody.
- Detention- An officer can temporarily place a subject in handcuffs or prevent freedom of movement for the purposes of officer safety, to prevent flight, or to conduct a weapons pat-down, otherwise known as a Terry Stop. A detention is only temporary and for the purposes of conducting an investigation. Reasonable suspicion is required to detain a subject.
- Arrest– An arrest is made when an officer has probable cause to charge a subject with a crime. Probable cause is a fair probability that a crime was committed. Even with circumstantial evidence alone, an officer can make an arrest as long as probable cause exists.
If you’ve been the victim of illegal detention or search and/or seizure, you need an experienced law firm to fight for your rights in court.
Hire an Experienced Michigan Police Misconduct Attorney
If your rights were violated as a result of police misconduct, you need to consult the Law Offices of Christopher Trainor and Associates. For over 20 years, we’ve defended countless clients and settled over $200 million worth of legal cases. We specialize in protecting our clients from all manners of police misconduct, and we can do the same for you.
To schedule your free consultation, call our office 24/7 at (800) 961-8477 or complete our online contact form today.