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What if I believe there was police misconduct in an arrest?

It's become a frequent news topic for law enforcement to become embroiled in allegations of various forms of abuse when they're supposed to be doing their jobs. When a person in Baton Rouge and throughout the state is arrested and there is a belief that police misconduct was evident in the investigation and arrest, it's important to understand how the FBI defines what are known as "Color of Law" abuses. These laws encompass anyone who is involved in being a legal authority who might have committed a violation.

While it's necessary for certain entities to have the power to investigate, make arrests and prosecute to ensure the laws are followed, there are also situations in which overzealousness and outright abuse comes to pass and people who are arrested have their rights violated. Depriving a person of those rights is a violation of these rules as a person in authority oversteps the bounds. There are numerous ways in which this law can be violated. If a person was subject to arrest and feels as if this was occurring at the time, it can be a way to defend against the charges.

Some examples of ways in which there is an abuse of power include excessive force, false arrest and evidence being fabricated. Officers are allowed to utilize whatever force they believe to be necessary, as long as it is reasonable. Since the word "reasonable" can be interpreted in many ways, there are many ways in which abuse can occur. A person who believes there has been an overstepping of those boundaries can claim to have been subjected to excessive force. With evidence fabrication, it is a possibility that officers - trying to ensure they have a solid case - will plant evidence. A person who didn't deserve to be arrested could have been taken into custody to validate an investigation or to cover up some other mistake.

Whether or not a defendant was violating federal law doesn't mean that law enforcement has the right to commit police misconduct or violate the law on their own to make certain that a supposed lawbreaker is placed behind bars. There are many ways to forge a successful defense of federal charges and one involves an investigation to determine if allegations of a wrongful arrest are accurate.

Source: FBI.gov, "Color of Law Abuses," accessed on Feb. 1, 2015

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