Skip to Content
Call Us Today! 312-436-0638

5 Common Forms of Police Misconduct


Police departments in Louisiana and across the United States have a responsibility to protect their communities. Unfortunately, law enforcement officials abuse their power and infringe on the constitutional rights of the citizens they swore to serve. 

Police misconduct occurs when police officers take improper action during their official duties. Such misconduct can not only deprive individuals of their freedom, but it also can result in permanent physical, mental, and emotional injury. 

Some of the most common forms of police misconduct include: 

  • False or wrongful arrest – In order to arrest someone police officers must establish probable cause that an individual has committed, is committing, or is going to commit a criminal offense. Without probable cause, it is considered a false arrest if an officer detains a person. 

  • Unlawful search and seizures – The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. Law enforcement officials must either obtain consent, probable cause, or a warrant to search a person or property. 

  • Excessive force – When police use unreasonable violence when making an arrest or investigating a crime, such action is considered excessive force. This type of brutality generally leads to serious physical injury and even death. 

  • Malicious prosecution – When an officer wrongful deprives someone of their Fourteenth Amendment right to liberty, this is known as malicious prosecution. To prove malicious prosecution, you must show that the officer started a criminal proceeding, the proceeding ended in your favor (i.e., no conviction), the officer did not have any probable cause, the proceeding was brought with malice against you. 

  • Sexual misconduct – Police officers may use their authority to sexually assault and abuse the people they arrest or detain. Common types of people law enforcement officials may take advantage of are intoxicated women, women who are involved in prostitution or human trafficking, women of color, domestic violence victims, and even children. 

As a U.S. citizen, you are entitled to civil rights, which means you are entitled to fair and equal treatment in all areas of life. If your rights were violated due to police misconduct, an experienced civil rights attorney can help you hold the officer and department accountable and recover financial compensation.

If you were the victim of police misconduct in Chicago, contact the Law Office of Steven Fine today at (312) 436-0638 and schedule a free consultation. Let a former prosecutor with more than 20 years of legal experience help you immediately!