Can You Bring a Civil Case Against the Police?

Have you recently had a brush with the law? If this is the first time for you, it can be a harrowing experience, and as a law-abiding citizen you may have been shocked by the outcome. While the men and woman that make up the Australian police forces have a difficult job to do, sometimes they may make mistakes, and if you've been involved in one of these situations, you may have recourse to take further action. How should you proceed?

Deciding to Proceed

On occasion, police officers can overstep the line, especially in challenging situations. If you were involved in some way, your civil liberties or statutory rights may have been infringed on, and if so, you can bring a successful case against the officers in question.

Claims of Misconduct

Sometimes, an officer will use excessive force when trying to make an arrest without good cause or may arrest you for no valid reason in the first place, and this could lead to a claim of false imprisonment. You do need to remember, however, that you have a considerable burden when trying to prove your case and will need to prepare very carefully.

You may not realise it, but you can bring a civil case against a police officer even if you have not been charged with a particular crime. Furthermore, you can still lodge a claim even if a court of law has found you to be guilty of a charge. In this latter case, the police may have been overzealous during the arrest or incarcerated you without due cause, even if you were subsequently found to be guilty. Certainly, this can be a difficult case to prove, but it is far from unheard of and should not stop you from going forward.

Not to Be Taken Lightly

When you bring a claim of misconduct against an officer of the law, it's a very serious allegation, and you need to have a strong case to support it. If you want to sue for damages, then you will be expected to present all the evidence clinically, without emotion and without omission.

Getting Ready

When you give notice that you are going to file a claim, the defendant will undoubtedly exhibit a vigourous defence and have highly trained individuals on their side. If you're going to stand the best chance of success, you need to be equally as prepared, with the best lawyers experienced in civil litigation. Ideally, you should choose a counselor who has successfully fought a civil case against the authorities before. To learn more, contact resources such as Mark Shenken.