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The Right Attorney Can Make A Difference In Police Misconduct Cases

Your Lawyer Must Have Deep Resources And Have Extensive Experience

Police are given tremendous leeway to enforce the law. Officers are asked to make critical decisions in highly stressful and sometimes life-threatening situations. The majority of police officers serve with integrity and an admirable level of courage. In some situations, however, law enforcement officers do not act within the law and that leads to violations of individuals' constitutional rights. Often, these improper actions result in serious or even fatal injuries.

When police officers overstep their constitutional authority, the victims may have recourse through federal and state laws. Attorney Robert V. Phillips of McGowan, Hood & Felder, LLC, advocates for victims of police misconduct. In a Federal Civil rights claim victims may recover compensatory and punitive damages plus attorney fees. Mr. Phillips has recovered millions of dollars through verdicts and settlements for clients in police misconduct cases.

What Constitutes Police Misconduct?

That question can be extremely difficult to answer. It requires a thorough knowledge of constitutional law, which is always evolving. Attorney Phillips is among a handful of lawyers in the state who possess the necessary skills to successfully represent victims of police misconduct. He represents individuals throughout South Carolina in the full range of police misconduct cases, including:

  • Excessive use of force — This is among the most common types of police misconduct due to the media coverage these incidents receive. Proving that force was excessive under the circumstances can be extremely challenging and requires the skills of an experienced police misconduct attorney.
  • Wrongful death — Police are allowed to use deadly force under certain circumstances, and when it is excessive it can result in the tragic loss of life. Surviving family members may seek compensation the loss of their loved one, but these cases require the deep resources and extensive knowledge only a handful of South Carolina lawyers possess. Robert Phillips is one of those attorneys.
  • False or wrongful arrest — A victim of false arrest must show an officer lacked probable cause to believe a crime was committed.
  • Illegal search and seizure — As with wrongful arrest, illegal search and seizure is a violation of an individual's Fourth Amendment rights. Police must have probable cause to believe they may recover evidence of a crime that was committed. However, they do not need a warrant in all instances.

We Have The Resources To Win Cases

While legally they are significantly different, police misconduct cases are similar to medical malpractice cases — two additional areas of law in which Mr. Phillips excels — in that they require extensive resources to successfully prosecute. We use the latest high-tech tools to recover and analyze forensics and recreate incidents of police misconduct at trial. However, most importantly police misconduct cases require the use of a police procedure expert to explain to a jury and the court what a law enforcement officer is required to do and how the officer in a particular circumstance did not adhere to generally accepted police practices. Robert works with only the best police experts from around the country.

Meeting with, consulting with, conducting on-site inspections and usually travelling out of state for numerous depositions is extremely expensive. So expense that often many firms simply cannot afford to front these costs which are very necessary for the successful prosecution of these types of cases. From Robert's vast experience in these matters he is frequently asked to present on the topic of police excessive force at conferences in South Carolina and around the country.

Do You Have A Valid Case?

Often, individuals are uncertain whether they have a valid police misconduct case. We accept all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if we recover a financial settlement or judgment for you.

We welcome the opportunity to review the facts of your case during a free consultation. We will provide a candid assessment of what you can expect and recommend the best steps to take. Call or use the contact form on this website to schedule a meeting.