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Police Conduct – The Legality and Illegality of It

The law does not discriminate between police officers and others. If a police officer violates the law, he or she is liable to the same consequences as everyone else. Courts hold police personnel responsible for their unlawful behavior. For instance, a police officer who strikes an individual, commits a narcotics offense, or is found guilty of drunk driving, (DUI) he or she may be fined and imprisoned. Additionally, they may face additional criminal charges and repercussions for breaching the law.

It is irrelevant whether the offense was committed while the officer was on duty or not. The legislation is applicable in both instances.

Apart from committing crimes, police officers may infringe upon your civil rights by conducting themselves in a prohibited manner. Knowing your civil rights enables you to behave appropriately during and after contacts with law enforcement.

Complaints Regarding Police Brutality and Violence

Sadly, some police personnel may use excessive force in their dealings with the public. In some instances, the use of excessive force may result in murder, manslaughter, or other criminal penalties. If a person is wounded during an arrest, assault or violence charges may be filed.

Due to the wide definition of “reasonable” force, it might be difficult to determine if a police officer’s actions were legal without consulting a lawyer.

False arrests may result in the exclusion of evidence.

Before making an arrest, conducting a search, or obtaining a warrant, a police officer must have probable cause. A reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed is probable cause. A reasonable suspicion that proof of a crime is available at a location being searched is required for a search.

When a police officer arrests or searches a person without probable cause, the officer is in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Inappropriate arrests may also contravene the Fourteenth Amendment’s provision of the right to due process. In addition, the Eighth Amendment prohibits cruelty or unusual punishment, which may be a problem depending on how the individual was handled after a false or unjust arrest.

Illegal arrests, searches, and seizures may result in the exclusion of evidence from judicial proceedings. Obtaining evidence by illicit methods is inadmissible in court. In addition to civil claims against the officers and the police agency, the erroneous arrest might also result in civil claims.

There may be situations where the concept of probable cause can be put aside, but they are uncommon and limited to certain circumstances.


Common instances of police misbehavior include illegal arrests, unlawful searches, and violence. However, the number of criminal acts committed by police personnel while conducting their jobs is extensive.

Other instances of unlawful police conduct include:

  • A police officer is prohibited from tampering with or “planting” evidence to “legitimize” a search or arrest.
  • Police personnel are prohibited from offering bribes to gain evidence or testimony.
  • A police officer cannot elicit a confession or information from a suspect by intimidation, threats, or physical force.
  • The police officer must have a reasonable suspicion that a criminal is being or has been committed prior to conducting a traffic stop.

Plain view allows police officers to search a car, residence, or person without a warrant or authorization, although “plain view” is often exploited by police officers to conduct unlawful searches.

A police officer is entitled to lie to you, but not about whether they have a warrant or about your legal rights.

When police officers violate your constitutional rights, it may be so to charge you with a crime you did not commit. Even if you have committed a crime, police officers are prohibited from violating your civil rights. You may have one or more defenses against the accusations if they do.


If you suspect that a police officer has violated your civil rights or is guilty of wrongdoing or misconduct, you should not engage in an argument with the officer. If you resist arrest, you may face further criminal charges and provide probable grounds for the police to make the arrest.

Never provide permission for a search of your person, house, car, or possessions. However, you should not fight an illegal search. Instead, assert firmly but respectfully that you do not agree to the search.

Stress your right to stay quiet upon your arrest, save when requesting a criminal defense attorney. You are not required to answer inquiries in the absence of a counsel. Your attorney will examine any possible police misconduct and build a defense plan on the basis of your civil rights and statutes prohibiting inappropriate and wrong conduct by the police.

Corpus Christi Criminal Defense Lawyer

Alex R. Hernandez Jr. PLLC is client-focused, results-driven, and wholly committed to achieving the best outcome possible for your criminal law case. He specializes in defending a wide variety of criminal offenses, including DUIs, drug crimes, white-collar crimes, domestic violence, federal crimes, and juvenile crimes.

Call 866-634-1092 for your free consultation today

Alex Aims To Prevent Your Criminal Offense From Defining Your Future.

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