Police Misconduct Lawyers | Browning Office | Serving Cut Bank, MT
Box 1803, Browning, MT 59417
Lead Counsel independently verifies Police Misconduct attorneys in Cut Bank and checks their standing with Montana bar associations.Our Verification Process and Criteria
Police misconduct, such as abuse of their power, unreasonable use of excessive force, and entering a home without a warrant, violates the rights of individuals and exposes their department to lawsuits. Police are expected to follow the law and police department procedures to protect citizens and uphold constitutional rights.
Certain circumstances may not be misconduct. If you believe you are a victim of police misconduct you should immediately consult a Cut Bank lawyer who handles police misconduct cases. The lawyer will review the facts of the event to determine if you have a valid case and then take appropriate legal action.
Protecting your civil rights isn’t an easy process. Hiring an attorney with a history of success in police misconduct cases would put you in a much better position than risking it by going it alone. Finding an attorney to protect your rights and fight for you in court may be the best option for your case. The LawInfo Directory can help you find verified police misconduct lawyers near Cut Bank.
The investigating body generally depends on where or how your report the police misconduct. Police misconduct investigations may be conducted by local or state police departments, federal law enforcement agencies, internal affairs departments, local, state or federal civil rights divisions, state attorney general or governor’s office. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also assists with reporting and conducting investigations into police misconduct and brutality as well.
While you may report or send tips of police misconduct anonymously, oftentimes your identity is necessary to move forward with these very serious allegations. Typically, the investigating agency requires evidence and witnesses in order to hold an officer accountable for internal complaints or to prosecute the offenses as criminal complaints. For civil complaints, a claim may only proceed anonymously or by pseudonym for instances where it is done to protect the person filing the claim.
Generally, there are three ways of reporting police misconduct: internal complaints to the department, criminal complaints, or civil lawsuits. Internal complaints involve reporting the misconduct of an officer to the chief of their police department or head of their law enforcement agency. Some misconduct may constitute criminal conduct which you can report to a police department or law enforcement agency. Finally, filing a civil lawsuit against the officer who committed the misconduct or the department may be an option to recover monetary damages.
There are a number of illegal acts or forms of inappropriate conduct a police officer may take that constitutes misconduct, such as coercing a false confession, making a false arrest or falsely imprisoning a person, conducting an unlawful search, unlawfully seizing property, unlawful surveillance, falsifying, tampering, or stealing evidence, intimidation or tampering with a witness, or excessive force, among many other acts of misconduct.
Police misconduct can result in negative outcomes for a case or investigation. Misconduct in the form of fabricating or tampering with evidence may lead to a false arrest or conviction, as well as impeding an arrest from being made at all. Other times, it may hinder an investigation from being conducted in a reasonable time or manner. Evidence found through police misconduct may be deemed inadmissible during trial as well. Additionally, police misconduct can lead to a miscarriage of justice, or an error at trial which may lead to the conviction and punishment of an innocent person. Sometimes, police misconduct can be lethal when an officer kills someone without justification.
Specialized legal help is available for most legal issues. Each case is unique; seeking legal help is a smart first step toward understanding your legal situation and seeking the best path toward resolution for your case. An experienced lawyer understands the local laws surrounding your case and what your best legal options might be. More importantly, there are certain situations and circumstances – such as being charged with a crime – where you should always seek experienced legal help.
Prepare for your consultation by writing down notes of your understanding of the case, jot down questions and concerns for the attorney, and gather your documents. Remember that you are trying to get a sense of whether the attorney has your trust and can help you address your legal issues. Questions should include how the attorney intends to resolve your issue, how many years he/she has been practicing law and specifically practicing in your area, as well as how many cases similar to yours the attorney has handled. It can also be helpful to broach the subject of fees so that you understand the likely cost and structure of your representation by a specific attorney and/or legal team.
A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:
Depending on your specific legal situation, it’s possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.
Pro se – This Latin term refers to representing yourself in court instead of hiring professional legal counsel. Pro se representation can occur in either criminal or civil cases.
Statute – Refers to a law created by a legislative body. For example, the laws enacted by Congress are statutes.
Subject matter jurisdiction – Requirement that a particular court have authority to hear the claim based on the specific type of issue brought to the court. For example, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court only has subject matter jurisdiction over bankruptcy filings, therefore it does not have the authority to render binding judgment over other types of cases, such as divorce.