Your Rights as a Unionized New York Police Officer

In many ways, it is a challenging time to be a New York police officer. While the vast majority of police officers serve with bravery and integrity, the actions of a very few officers have increased the amount of public scrutiny over all police officers. As a result, NYPD officers are increasingly facing disciplinary hearings, allegations of civil rights violations and, in some cases, even criminal charges. At the Brill Legal Group, we proudly provide police officers with an aggressive defense in whatever legal matters they are facing, protecting both their name and their livelihood. If you are concerned about the quality of your union attorneys, call the Brill Legal Group today.

Protecting Police Officers Against Claims of Misconduct

A police officer’s job is not an easy one. New York police officers must make split-second decisions that sometimes have life-and-death consequences. If a supervisor disagrees with an officer’s judgment call, they may be subject to disciplinary proceedings, which can ultimately lead to termination. Common reasons why New York police officers face disciplinary action include:

  • Excessive force of police brutality
  • Unjustified taser use
  • False arrest
  • Falsifying evidence
  • Intimidation
  • Corruption
  • Off-duty misconduct

During a disciplinary proceeding, an officer’s actions are questioned after-the-fact, making it almost impossible to appreciate the situation the officer was facing. Yet, good police officers are routinely fired for making the “wrong” call. With so much at stake, police officers should have an attorney representing their interests at formal disciplinary proceedings. At the Brill Legal Group, we understand that being accused of misconduct by Internal Affairs, CCRB, OIG, DOI, or another investigative group can be terrifying, infuriating and frustrating all at the same time, and we proudly represent NYPD officers in all types of disciplinary actions.

Representing NYPD Officers in Allegations of Civil Rights Violations 

New York police officers’ primary job is to protect society. In carrying out this task, officers are frequently put in positions that require they quickly make decisions. Sometimes, officers have to rely on their gut instinct. However, well-intentioned officers can end up making honest mistakes, especially in the heat of the moment. When this occurs, an officer may face a civil rights claim under section 1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code. Common examples of civil rights claims filed against New York police officers include:

  • False arrest – A claim for false arrest is premised on an arrest that lacked probable cause. However, an officer’s good-faith reliance on incorrect information can defeat a false arrest claim.
  • Malicious prosecution – A malicious prosecution claim occurs when an officer arrests an individual without probable cause based on malice or ill-will towards that individual. Of course, the person bringing the claim must be able to prove the officer’s intentions.
  • Unreasonable use of force or excessive force – Officers can use appropriate force when necessary. Whether the officer’s use of force was reasonable depends on the surrounding facts and circumstances, not on the officer’s motivations. Thus, even a well-meaning officer can go astray of what the law requires. 
  • Failure to intervene – Officers have a duty to intervene to protect individuals from constitutional violations by other officers. Their failure to do so may be the basis of a civil rights claim. 
    Generally, officers are immune from liability when they are carrying out their duties. However, if the plaintiff can show that the officer violated a clearly established constitutional or statutory right, the officer’s immunity is chipped away, leaving them exposed to liability. At the Brill Legal Group, we understand the realities that officers face while on the job, and we proudly represent police officers in all types of New York civil rights claims.

    Defending NYPD Officers in Criminal Matters

    Whether allegedly committed on- or -off duty, a criminal conviction can mean the end of a police officer’s career. And given the current climate, police officers are under more scrutiny than ever before. At the Brill Legal Group, we aggressively defend police officers facing all types of criminal allegations, including:

    • Drunk driving
    • Sexual assault
    • Domestic violence
    • Drug charges
    • Witness intimidation

    Regardless of the type of charges, the dedicated New York criminal defense attorneys at the Brill Legal Group can help.

    Contact a Police Officer Defense Attorney for Immediate Assistance

    At the Brill Legal Group, attorneys Peter Brill and David Gray spent many years working within the NYPD disciplinary system. While Peter Brill spent nearly 15 years as counsel to the Detectives, Lieutenants and Captains unions, David Gray spent his time as an Assistant Department Advocate. These experiences enable the Brill Legal Group to provide top-notch representation to New York police officers in pending criminal cases, civil rights cases as well as in disciplinary hearings. Our clear understanding of the Patrol Guide and other departmental policies allows us to defend against all accusations aggressively. We fight for our clients, using our experience to protect the pensions, benefits and reputations that our Uniformed Members of the Service have worked so hard to obtain. If you are concerned about the quality of your union attorneys, call the Brill Legal Group. To learn more, contact us at 888-315-9841 to schedule a free consultation today. It is our privilege to serve you.