Under 42 U.S.C. s 1983, a conviction -- including a plea of no contest -- to any charge will bar a later claim for false arrest or malicious prosecution.

A conviction will not always prohibit you from bringing an excessive force claim. Even if you are convicted of obstruction of a law enforcement officer, you may still bring a claim for excessive force if the officer used unreasonable force after all unlawful resistance ceased. Whether an officer used unreasonable force after and unlawful resistance ceased can often present a difficult question. An attorney must carefully draft the complaint to present facts that show all resistance ceased at the time of the use of excessive force. See an example here.

Entering a pretrial diversion program will not bar a subsequent false arrest claim, but will prohibit a claim for malicious prosecution.

If you believe your civil rights have been violated and that you have a viable lawsuit, it is important for you to consult with a civil rights lawyer before you make any decisions related to your criminal case. What you do in your criminal case can affect your civil claim
and you should be fully informed when making a decision of whether to contest your charges.

 


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