Youthful Offender Program (YOP)People are arrested for a multitude of things each and every day. An officer may legally arrest somebody when they have personally observed a crime, they have probable cause to believe that a person committed a crime when arrested, or the officer has an arrest warrant issued by a judge. If a police officer says, “I arrested this person just because I wanted to or I had a hunch,” then this is illegally arresting somebody. There must be tangible evidence that led them to the probable cause.

In fact, the police actually have special arrest procedures. These rules will vary by jurisdiction. Police officers will typically only use handcuffs or place the person in a police cruiser when they need to protect themselves from the arrestee for some reason, such as in cases when they are being violent. Police don’t have to read the Miranda Rights at the time of the arrest, either; however, they must read the rights before an interrogation. Questioning cannot occur until this happens. Police will always tell an arrestee why they are under arrest, even though they do not have an obligation to do so.

But here’s a question for you: What is a police officer treats a person cruelly? What if they use way too much force to get a point across? This is known as excessive force, and there are things you can do when this happens.

What is excessive force and how much force can be used?

If an officer has used excessive force on you, then bodily harm will probably result from the actions. Many states will use the “reasonable person” rule to dictate whether any reasonable person would have done the same thing given those circumstances. Resistance by a defendant is usually justified if there was self-defense involved. However, courts will barely ever find that an arrestee’s forceful resistance was defensible, so this is another problem. If a court finds that an arrestee was entitled to resist the excessive force, then the issue becomes, Was the force used appropriate?  Amount of force used to resist usually has to be proportional to the amount of excess force used by the arresting officer.  

When is somebody justified in resisting excessively forceful arrest?

  • Abatement: The arrestee must stop resisting the moment excessive force is no longer used.
  • Resistance that prolongs the force: The arrestee must stop resisting if they believe the officer will stop using force as well the moment he or she does.
  • Resistance that causes the force: The arrestee is not justified to resist if they did something to cause the officer to use excessive force in the first place.

What is Immunity?

Many states do not follow the “qualified immunity” rules, which can relieve public entities of liability for injuries that result from specific actions involving force. Excessive force against police officers will mostly never apply to this. However, states are immune from suit by private citizens in federal court. Many things will depend on the case you’re dealing with and the circumstances surrounding it.

If you have been involved in an excessive force case and have become injured, you may have a claim. Has somebody used too much force and caused you serious injuries? You may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Law Office of Peter Blair for more information and get clear answers now.