The civil rights attorneys at Dupée & Monroe in Goshen stand up against civil rights violations perpetrated by officials at all levels of government, including the use of excessive force by police in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Our civil rights lawyers represent people throughout the Hudson Valley who have been victimized by any form of excessive force during a search, stop or arrest, including:
- Police Brutality
- K-9 attack dogs
- Jail/Prison Abuse
- Improper Use of Tasers, Mace or Pepper Spray
Constitutional Right to be Free From Excessive Force
The Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights requires that all searches and seizures must be reasonable. The courts recognize that physical force may be necessary to conduct a search or make an arrest, and so not all force is unreasonable. In determining whether the application of force in any particular instance was reasonable or excessive, the courts often will balance the individual’s Fourth Amendment right against the interest of the state in the particular situation. You may be surprised to learn that the court requires the conduct of the officer to be objectively unreasonable under the circumstances, regardless of the officer’s intent or motivation. To determine whether the officer’s actions were reasonable or excessive, the court may look at factors such as:
- The severity of the alleged crime
- Whether the suspect was posing an immediate threat to the safety of others
- Whether the person was actively resisting arrest
- Whether the person was already under control when the force was applied
Severe Injury Not Required
If unreasonable and excessive force is used on you, you do not necessarily have to prove that you were severely injured in order to recover money damages. The violation of your constitutional rights may be harm enough.
Get Help With Excessive Force Claims from Experienced New York Civil Rights Lawyers
Laws such as Section 1983 in the U.S. Code and New York civil rights laws authorize persons to sue and recover money damages when their civil rights are violated. In many instances, it is difficult to sue police officers because they have “qualified immunity” from lawsuits unless they violated somebody’s clearly established rights. It is well-settled, however, that the 4th Amendment right to be free from excessive force is a clearly established constitutional right.
If you or a loved one suffered at the hands of the police or other government actors, and you believe you were the victim of excessive force, we want to hear from you. Call our office at 845-294-8900, or contact us online for a free consultation about how you can hold government officials accountable for their misconduct and recover compensation for the harm done to you.