Long Island Police Misconduct Attorneys
Representing Victims of Police Misconduct in Nassau County
Police officers play an important role in protecting our communities, but not all officers act appropriately in all situations. While police officers have the right to detain individuals, conduct searches of suspected criminals, and even kill another person under certain circumstances, these abilities can in some cases be abused, leading to civil rights violations and life-changing injuries.
At Nass Roper & Levin, PC, our team of legal professionals is committed to protecting the rights of New Yorkers who have been subject to excessive force, racial profiling, wrongful searches, and other policy violations. Our Long Island police misconduct lawyers have over 45 years of collective experience and can help you take legal action. You must act quickly, as you will generally have 90 days from the date of the incident to begin the process of filing a lawsuit. We will leverage our extensive resources to help you seek justice and obtain the compensation you deserve.
If you have been subject to police misconduct, do not wait to call (718) 775-3246 or contact us online. We can quickly review your rights and walk you through all available legal options.
What Are My Rights When Stopped by the Police in New York?
Unexpected interactions with law enforcement tend to be stressful for many people, especially if you are stopped by a police officer. Whether you are on foot or in your car, you should remember that you have rights in these scenarios. At the same time, you must be careful to avoid antagonizing a police officer or escalating the situation.
As a New York resident, your rights in a police stop include:
- The right to remain silent. Anything you say could (and probably will) be used against you. You are not required to answer the police’s questions or provide any statements. Inform the officer that you are choosing to exercise your right to remain silent. If necessary, you can ask to speak to a lawyer. If you are stopped on foot, you also do not typically have to identify yourself or show your government ID to an officer. You are not required to carry your ID with you under state law. If you are in your car and are pulled over, you do have to show your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration information if requested.
- Protection against discrimination. The police can only stop and temporarily detain you if they have probable cause to believe you may have committed, are currently committing, or are about to commit a criminal act. They cannot stop you because of your race, religious attire, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by anti-discrimination laws.
- Protection against unreasonable searches. You never have to consent to a search of your person, car, or home, and it is almost never in your best interest to do so. Under New York law, a police officer must ask before conducting a search (assuming they do not have probable cause or a warrant) and inform you of your right to decline. Police officers can conduct a legal search without your permission if they have a valid warrant or probable cause. If they say they have a warrant, ask to see it and confirm it has the right address. Some officers will conduct a search even if you refuse to consent to one, but you should still verbally (and politely) insist you are declining consent.
- Protection against excessive force. The police generally have the right to lawfully use violent force in self-defense or in dangerous situations where they are defending another party. Force becomes extensive when it is unjustified or violates fundamental human rights. Examples include threats of violence, discriminatory violence, unnecessary violence, and sexual abuse.
- The right to ask if you can leave. In any police interaction, you can always ask if you are being detained and whether you have a right to leave. The officers must answer and let you go if they do not have reason to arrest you.
In some situations, you may not be able to stop an unlawful act from occurring, especially if an officer is determined to violate your rights or facilitate a premeditated outcome. In these situations, do everything you can to stay safe while making every effort to end the encounter as quickly as possible. Do not run away, raise your voice, insult the officer, touch the officer, or otherwise resist arrest, even if you are certain that you are being treated unlawfully.
If you are detained or arrested by police, continue to exercise your right to remain silent, no matter what the officers say. Continue to ask to speak to a lawyer and get in touch with our Long Island police misconduct attorneys as soon as possible.
When the Police Violates Your Civil Rights, We Can Help You Seek Justice
Victims of unlawful police treatment have the right to take legal action. In most cases, you must file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the incident. You will then have one year and 90 days from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
If your rights were violated by the police, you may be able to recover compensatory damages. Our skilled team at Nass Roper & Levin, PC understands what is at stake, especially if you suffered severe injuries and are now dealing with exorbitant medical bills. Our Long Island police misconduct lawyers will work to maximize your recovery and fight for you every step of the way.
Not sure whether your rights were violated after a police stop in New York? Call (718) 775-3246 or contact us online to discuss your case with us.
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