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Police Misconduct Laws and Claims in Ohio

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

It's almost always a good idea to be compliant with commands or instructions given by the police. After all, not complying with police can result in resisting arrest charges. But things can get even worse, as there are times when police officers may go beyond the limits of their authority and can cause physical harm or death based on conduct not warranted by the situation.

There are a few ways in which the conduct of the police may be considered misconduct. These include using excessive force, making an unlawful arrest, wrongfully imprisoning someone, or performing an unlawful search and seizure. If police act in a way that can be classified as misconduct, the victim may be able to file a civil lawsuit. It's important to remember, however, that the police have a certain amount of "qualified immunity," which a plaintiff must overcome in order to be successful in their lawsuit.

Overview of Police Misconduct Laws and Claims in Ohio

In the following table you can find a general overview of police misconduct laws in Ohio as well as links to relevant statutes. For more detailed information, it's best to read the statutes for yourself and consult an experienced attorney.

Statute(s)

Ohio Revised Code, Title XXIX:

Interfering with Civil Rights

It's a misdemeanor of the first degree to knowingly deprive, attempt to deprive, or conspire to deprive anyone of their constitutional or statutory right.

Using Sham Legal Process: Prohibited Behavior

A person is prohibited from knowingly using a sham legal process to:

  1. Issue, display, deliver, or otherwise use sham legal process;
  2. Arrest, detain, search, or seize any person or property;
  3. Commit or facilitate the commission of an offense; or
  4. Commit a felony.
Using Sham Legal Process: Charges

The charges for using sham legal process depend on how it was used:

  • Violation of #1 above is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
  • Violation of #2 above is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
  • Violation of #3 above is a misdemeanor of the first degree unless the offense is classified as a felony, then it's charged as a felony of the fourth degree.
  • Violation of #4 above is a felony of the fourth degree.

Related Statute(s)

Ohio Revised Code, Title XXIX:

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Police Misconduct Laws and Claims in Ohio: Related Resources

If you'd like additional information and resources related to this topic, you can visit the links listed below.

Learn More About Police Misconduct Laws and Claims in Ohio: Talk to a Lawyer

If you believe that the police interacted with you in a way that constitutes misconduct, you may have a claim against them. Speak to a skilled civil rights attorney near you to find out more about police misconduct laws and claims in Ohio.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.