Federal Law Enforcement Agency Disciplinary Defense Attorney in Canton, Michigan
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is empowered to investigate—and prosecute, if necessary—violations by law enforcement officials at every level of government. This authority extends to police officers, jailers, correctional officers, probation officers, prosecutors, judges, and other federal, state, or local law enforcement officials. Indeed, the DOJ will investigate and take necessary action if a law enforcement official, whether on or off duty, violates any laws of Constitutional guarantees so long as that person is acting, or claiming to act, in an official capacity. In addition to DOJ actions, a law enforcement agency itself may conduct investigations and seek to take disciplinary action against employees.
If you, as an employee of a law enforcement agency, are being investigated or have been found in violation and are facing disciplinary action for misconduct, reach out to me immediately at Schramek Law, P.L.L.C. I fight for the rights of law enforcement employees throughout the United States to help them preserve their jobs and livelihoods when misconduct or other charges are levied.
The Law Enforcement Misconduct Statute
Limits are certainly placed on law enforcement conduct. For example, 18 United States Code (U.S.) Section 242 states, "Whoever, under color of any law, …willfully subjects any person…to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States [shall be guilty of a crime]."
According to a famous 1945 court case, Section 242 aims to "protect all persons in the United States in their civil rights and furnish the means of their vindication." The phrase “under the color of any law” means that the individual committing the violation did so while acting in an official law enforcement capacity or did so while claiming to act in an official capacity.
A violation of Section 242 can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Felony violations include instances when the official used, attempted to use, or threatened to use a dangerous weapon, explosive or fire; the victim suffered bodily injury; the defendant's actions included attempted murder, kidnapping or attempted kidnapping, aggravated sexual abuse or attempted aggravated sexual abuse; or the crime resulted in death.
Other violations can include physical assault; sexual misconduct (non-consensual sex); deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition; and a failure to intervene when another officer is violating someone’s Constitutional rights or breaking the law.
If a case is brought against the individual for his or her violation, the standard of proof is, as in all criminal matters, “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” Beyond that, however, prosecutors must also show that the person acted intentionally, knowing that their action was wrong or unlawful.
Understanding Federal Law Enforcement Agency Disciplinary Actions
If you are an employee of a federal law enforcement agency and you are found in violation of a code or have been cited for misconduct, you can face various—and impactful—disciplinary actions. These actions are covered under Chapter 75 of Title 5, United States Code and also Part 752 of Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
These disciplinary actions can include demotion, removal (firing), reduction in grade, suspension of 14 days or more, as well as “lesser” actions such as letters of warning, letters of reprimand, oral or written counseling, and suspensions of fewer than 15 days. In most of these cases, the employee subject to these actions has the right to consult and work with an attorney. It’s vital that the employee reach out to skilled and experienced legal counsel.
The Importance of Legal Representation
Before the issuance of a notice of disciplinary action, there is usually an interview by one or more investigators. The interview can last anywhere from an hour to a full day. There may even be follow-up sessions. If you are being interviewed (i.e., investigated) for misconduct or another charge, it’s important to take it seriously. Don’t just consent to whatever they offer or say so you can get the experience past you. Above all, lean on your attorney for guidance.
Following the interview, the investigators may ask you to sign a sworn statement as to what was said and determined during the interview. Again, don’t simply sign off. You have a right to legal representation before, during, and after the interview. Take advantage of that right. Without representation, the investigators can follow a pre-set agenda—and arrive at a conclusion that doesn’t take your rights into account. Don’t let that happen.
Federal Law Enforcement Agency Disciplinary
Defense Attorney in
No one should have to handle these sorts of disciplinary issues alone. While my firm is located in Michigan, I have consistently helped and represented federal law enforcement employees nationwide in disciplinary matters. Reach out to me at Schrameck Law, P.L.L.C. with your questions and concerns. I will help you strategize a path forward.