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Police are tasked with keeping citizens safe from harm and criminal activity. While force may be necessary at times, some officers overstep their boundaries, resulting in police misconduct. Californians should be aware of the most common forms:

Police Brutality

Excessive force or violence is a common form of misconduct. While necessary force may be used to stop a crime, excessive violence, especially when a suspect is already detained, is unacceptable.

Fourth and Fifth Amendment Violations

Violations include unreasonable searches (Fourth Amendment), and denying you your right to remain silent or have an attorney (Fifth Amendment). Constitutional violations can include racial profiling, threats, or irrelevant questioning.

Sexual Harassment

Any sexual misconduct, including unwanted comments or actions by officers, should be reported immediately. Victims are protected under California law.

False Arrests

Officers must have a valid warrant or probable cause to arrest you. Arrests made without justification can lead to significant constitutional violations, as well as physical and mental distress.


Q: What Is Considered Police Misconduct in California?

A: Police misconduct includes inappropriate or illegal actions by officers, such as excessive force, sexual harassment, falsifying evidence, and false arrests.

Q: What Is the Most Common Form of Police Misconduct?

A: Police brutality and excessive force are the most common forms, often involving unnecessary violence during arrests.

Q: What Are the Signs of Police Misconduct in California?

A: Signs include unwarranted searches, arrests based on racial profiling, threats, or coercion for information.

Q: Can Police Officers Be Prosecuted for Misconduct in California?

A: Yes, officers can be prosecuted, especially in severe cases like sexual assault. Minor misconduct may not always result in prosecution.

Legal Support from Golden Gate Legal

At Golden Gate Legal, we specialize in defending those that are mistreated or arrested falsely by police. Our experienced civil rights lawyers can help you navigate these complex cases and seek justice.  If you believe you’ve experienced police misconduct, contact us for a free case valuation.

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