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Failure of police to follow rules may lead to dismissal of charge

Most people assume that when they call police for help, they will receive it. They do not think that they themselves will be arrested and accused of breaking the law. Despite this assumption, earlier this fall a Virginia Beach man found himself in this very position.

The 19 year old said he was intoxicated when he called 911 for assistance. Instead, when the police arrived he said he ran out to meet them and was tased.

The man was arrested and charged with:

  • Public intoxication
  • Failure to present and ID
  • Resisting arrest

The man claimed that police used excessive force in arresting him and that because he was not resisting arrest there was not reason for them to use such lethal force.

At trial, he pled no contest to the charge of public intoxication. Though the judge agreed that he was not resisting arrest—due to the fact that the man never understood he was under arrest—and threw out that charge, the man was found guilty of failure to identify himself.

The man’s attorney indicated he was pleased with the outcome. Because he was not found guilty of resisting arrest the man has grounds to file an excessive force claim against the Virginia Beach police.

When law enforcement fails to follow protocol in arresting an individual, whether it is due to the use of excessive force or another reason, it is possible it could be used to the advantage of the accused. A criminal defense lawyer can help determine the best course of action.

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