False imprisonment occurs when someone wrongfully holds an individual in custody or against their will. False imprisonment is not only a crime, but it is also actionable civil harm for which the victim can sue for damages.
When a police officer commits false arrest, the victim must be able to show that the officer acted without authority, or acted beyond the scope of their powers. Therefore, if you are arrested based on evidence, but later it is revealed that the evidence was incorrect or that you were actually innocent of the crime committed, you probably do not have a claim for false arrest. This is because the officer made a reasonable decision based on what appeared to be accurate evidence and therefore acted within the scope of his or her powers. Alternatively, an officer cannot arrest an individual because the individual called the officer an insulting name. Here, there is no crime being committed, and therefore, any arrest stemming solely from such an incident would likely constitute a false arrest. Contact the experienced Philadelphia police brutality lawyers at Zeff Law Firm if you believe you were the victim of false arrest.
How Common is Police Brutality in PA and NJ?
The amount of police brutality in Pennsylvania and New Jersey is extremely difficult to quantify. Many instances go unreported and make it impossible to know how extensive the problem truly is. Furthermore, police brutality and excessive force encompasses a wide range of circumstances that have to be evaluated on a case by case basis. Although it’s difficult to state with certainty how common police brutality is, there is still no denying that it is a prevalent and serious problem. To give an example, according to MappingPoliceViolence.org, from 2013 to 2019, 171 individuals were killed by police officers in Pennsylvania and 103 were killed in New Jersey.The police brutality lawyers in Philadelphia and Mt Laurel represent victims of police brutality in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
What is Considered Excessive Force by Police Officers?
As previously noted, police officers are granted the right to use force in certain situations in order to carry out their duties as an officer of the law. For example, if a suspect is resisting arrest, eluding officers or attempting to use a weapon or otherwise harm an officer, the use of force is permitted. However, even in these circumstances, the officer is only permitted to use only the amount of force that is reasonably necessary to carry out the arrest or investigatory stop. The use of deadly force may not be excessive in one case where a suspect is shooting at an officer, but shoving an individual in another case might be if the individual was cooperating with an investigation. If you are unsure if excessive force was used in your situation, contact the Philadelphia police brutality attorneys at Zeff Law Firm to review your case.
When can a Police Officer use Deadly Force?
Typically speaking, the use of deadly force is justified only under extreme conditions, as a last resort when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be used. More specifically, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, deadly force can only be used when the officer believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to either himself or another individual, and the suspect is escaping or armed. Contact the experienced Philadelphia police brutality lawyers at Zeff Law Firm if you believe a loved one was the victim of deadly force used by police
Our Philadelphia Police Brutality Lawyer Represents Clients in Situations That Involve:
- Use of excessive force
- False arrest
- False imprisonment
- Police shootings
- Wrongful searches
- Handcuffing injuries
- Taser injuries
- Wrongful police car or foot chases
- Baton injuries
- Other situations involving police brutality
Representation for Individual Law Enforcement Officials in Philadelphia
When a police officer fails to follow standard procedures, violates an individual’s rights, or fails to intervene when those rights are violated by another officer, it may be possible to file a claim that your rights were violated. Because every situation is different in this complex area of law, it is a good idea to get advice that is specific to your situation in a consultation with a police brutality attorney.
Our insight into law enforcement is unique because Zeff Law Firm proudly represents police officers, firefighters, correctional officers, and other law enforcement who have been subjected to harassment, discrimination, failure to promote, wrongful discipline, retaliation, First Amendment and whistleblower claims, and other wrongful employment
practices. We understand all side of law enforcement and have knowledge about how law enforcement is supposed to work to assist and protect citizens.