While the majority of law enforcement officers are doing their best, trying to protect the community and keep our streets safe, we can’t ignore the fact that there are a select few who abuse their power, and in some jurisdictions across the country, there are a small percentage of law enforcement officers who are dishonest and corrupt. In some ways, law enforcement may be a magnet for unscrupulous individuals who feel they’re above the law.
Police misconduct is nothing new. Often, it means unlawful police stops, unlawful searches and seizures, unnecessary force, sexual assault, civil rights violations, planting evidence, hiding evidence, stealing evidence, and much more. It may seem like a distant issue that you only hear about in tales until it happens to you.
What if I Have a Complaint?
Suppose you were mistreated or your rights were violated by law enforcement. Now, you want to make a complaint. After all, the mistreatment could hurt your criminal case and mislead the prosecution or the jury. You feel the evidence against you is tainted and you want to set things straight.
If you suspect criminal conduct, you can direct your concerns to the Department of Public Safety-Office of the Texas Rangers, and to the county or district attorney. If you believe that your civil rights were violated, the Federal Bureau of Investigation may become involved and conduct its own investigation into your allegations.
If you are facing criminal charges, but you feel that you’re a victim of police misconduct, you should discuss this issue with a private criminal defense lawyer. You have the right to register a complaint against a peace officer.
In some cases, if a preliminary investigation determines that a violation under Chapter 1701 of the Texas Occupation Code occurred, the enforcement division may decide to open an administrative or criminal case against the officer in question. If it’s determined that a criminal offense was committed, the officer may face disciplinary action or criminal charges, or both.