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GEORGIA PERSONAL INJURY AND CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS

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Atlanta Excessive Force Lawyer

Police officers swear an oath to protect and serve their communities and everyone in them. Most do just that, but a few engage in misconduct and violate the constitutional rights of the citizens. Police officers can commit serious violations borne out of negligence or malicious intent. One of the most highly publicized of these crimes is the use of excessive force. If you or a loved one suffered serious injury or died at the hands of a police officer, you may be able to collect compensation for all the harms you suffered. Contact the attorneys at ChancoSchiffer P.C. today to learn more about your legal options in a free consultation.

What Is Excessive Force?

The term “excessive force” refers to any situation in which a government official entitled to use force exceeds the amount necessary to:

  • Protect themselves
  • Protect others from harm, or
  • Defuse an incident

Officers of the law must use the “minimum amount necessary” to achieve these goals. Excessive force may apply to officers making an arrest, the handling of prisoners in custody, and even military operations. Excessive force that occurs during the course of an arrest by a police officer may also be “police brutality.”

Constitutional Rights Pertaining to Excessive Force

The use of excessive force by a police officer or any other government official is a violation of not one, but two constitutional rights. These include:

  • The Eighth Amendment, which protects citizens from cruel and unusual punishment, and;
  • The Fourth Amendment, which prohibits the use of unreasonable search and seizure. Excessive force is an example of an unreasonable seizure under constitutional law, and this is the amendment that most often comes into play during an excessive force claim.

When Is a Police Officer’s Seizure Unreasonable?

There are several Supreme Court cases that set precedent for excessive force and unreasonable seizure. One example, Tennessee v. Garner, found that a police officer used excessive force when he shot a non-threatening teenager in the back of the head after he had burglarized a house. At the time of the incident, state law allowed police officers to use “all necessary means” to make the arrest. The Supreme Court ruled that not only was this an example of excessive force, but the state law was unconstitutional. This landmark case established that a police officer may use deadly force only if:

  • It’s necessary to prevent escape, and
  • The officer possesses probable cause that establishes the suspect poses a threat of death or serious injury to others.

The use of excessive force applies to more than just cases in which a police officer uses deadly force. Victims may have grounds for an excessive force claim even when their injuries are minor, but resulted from force that the courts deem unreasonable.

Excessive force cases require an experienced legal hand. The attorneys at ChancoSchiffer P.C. will defend your constitutional rights and hold government officials responsible for their actions.

Your Georgia Excessive Force Attorney

Victims of excessive force can collect monetary and non-monetary damages resulting from police misconduct under federal law. If you or a loved one suffered injuries at the hands of a police officer, you may be able to collect compensation for medical bills and lost wages, as well as your non-monetary losses like pain and suffering.

The attorneys at ChancoSchiffer P.C. will treat your excessive force claim with the care and attention it requires. When you place a call to our firm and schedule a free case evaluation, you’ll be working with one of our experienced excessive force attorneys – never a paralegal. If you believe that you or a loved one were the victim of unreasonable or excessive force, contact us to discuss your legal options today.