You can claim economic damages, covering your medical expenses and lost wages for the duration of your recovery or false arrest.
Police disciplinary records are confidential in the state of Wyoming. The general public doesn’t need to know how many officers were targeted in internal reviews and how many civil complaints were formulated against their local cops. This should tell you what you’re up against when your civil rights are violated during the course of a police action. You can fight back, but you’ll need the best Wyoming police brutality lawyers you can find.
Sadly, only a fraction of the police misconduct incidents get reported. People are afraid of retaliation and, often enough, they don’t know what their rights are.
What you need to know is that your rights are protected under the Fourth and the Eighth Amendment.
For instance, the Fourth Amendment prohibits unlawful searches and seizures. Police officers have no right to stop people for no reason. If they pull your car over, they should have probable cause for that. When you are pulled over for a traffic rule violation, that’s one thing. In that case, you need to present your papers to the patrol agent. However, you are not required to answer any other question. In many cases, police officers will pull over a car on some bogus charge and then proceed to do a full search of the vehicle. Maybe they get lucky and find something illegal in your car. More often than not it’s black and Latino residents who are targeted in such operations. If that’s what happened to you, a skilled Cheyenne police brutality lawyer will add a charge of racial profiling to that of illegal search and seizure.
If you are charged with an offense as a result of an unlawful search, you need to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. Evidence obtained by illegal means is not admissible in your court. If your attorney manages to get such evidence thrown out, the prosecution will not have much of a case against you and the charges could be dropped altogether.
Speaking of illegal searches, unnecessary strip searches and cavity searches are also illegal. Police officers use these types of searches to humiliate a suspect, which is a violation of the Eighth Amendment which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The same goes for verbal abuse during an arrest operation or when you’re already in custody. If you were injured during the police action and you were denied immediate medical care, that’s also a violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Your police misconduct lawyers will help you file a complaint with the proper authorities. You can file a claim against the officers involved or against the police department they work for. If your lawyers discover there’s a pattern of misconduct in that police department, the institution itself can be sued for failing to provide proper training to the agents, or for failing to monitor their activity and punish those involved in abuse cases.
Also, you can file a claim with a state or federal court, and you can ask for damages. You can claim economic damages, covering your medical expenses and lost wages for the duration of your recovery or false arrest. At the same time, you can claim non-economic damages for your pain and suffering.