Criminal Defenses: Qualified Immunity
The private defense attorney should accept the case as he will win based on the reasonable use of force during the plaintiff’s arrest claim. The attorney should guide the police officer to assert on the grounds of legal doctrine qualified immunity. The court will grant motions for summary judgment supportive of the defendant, the police officer, since his conduct was objectively reasonable and warrants the protection by qualified immunity. This is consistent with the verdict for the Roy v. Inhabitants of Lewiston case. The U. S Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of lower court charge for damages. The court’s verdict that the use of force by the defendant was objectively reasonable based on the circumstances and accorded broad latitude to police officers who are compelled to make fast decisions in dangerous conditions.
In this case, the plaintiff is suing the defendant for damages for excessive force by the police officer during his arrest and apprehension. Qualified immunity does not offer immunity from paying monetary damages, but it provides immunity from going through the costs of a lengthy trial. Accordingly, the trial courts will resolve the qualified immunity issues early in the case, if possible, before discovery. The defenses presented can be based on either excuse or justification. The defenses based on justification focus on the nature of the offense and considers the conduct worthy of legal protection from criminal responsibility. Whereas defense, grounded on the excuse, will focus on the defendant and excuse his conduct under given circumstances (Storm, 2015). In this case, the defendant is a police officer who shot a victim twice after being summoned to his home by the wife. At the time, the victim was intoxicated and held two small knives. After a lengthy encounter, the victim lunged at the police officer with the two knives. Subsequently, the police shot the victim….End of Preview….