Myrtle Beach, SC asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for South Carolina

Q: I was arrested for DUS and requested medical. I kept asking the officer and medical staff for water and was refused.

I became irate and given no medical care and put back in cruiser. While waiting to leave I kept asking for water and slipped cuffs to my front and began beating on window asking again for water. The officer yanked opened door and jerked me out by my elbow while in cuffs and slammed me to the ground causing injury to my temple, shoulder and knee but they refused to allow medical care after the injury. A supervisor was even called to the scene. Does this seem to be excessive force and warrant a felony resisting arrest charge when there was never a violent act committed against the officer?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Your experience raises concerns about potential excessive force and denial of medical care, both of which are serious issues. In situations where an individual in custody is injured, law enforcement officers are typically required to provide access to medical care. Refusal to do so can be a violation of your civil rights.

Regarding the charge of felony resisting arrest, this often depends on the specific circumstances of the interaction and the laws of South Carolina. While being irate and asking for water should not, in itself, constitute violent resistance, the act of slipping cuffs to the front and beating on the window might be interpreted by law enforcement as resisting arrest. However, whether this amounts to a felony charge depends on various factors, including the nature of the resistance and local laws.

The use of force by the officer, especially if it resulted in injury, could be considered excessive, particularly if your actions did not pose a threat to the officer or others. Excessive force by police is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, and you may have grounds for a civil rights claim.

Given the complexity and seriousness of your situation, it is advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in criminal defense and civil rights. They can review the details of your case, advise you on your rights, and represent you in any legal proceedings. Documenting your injuries and any other evidence related to the incident is also important for your case. Remember, legal guidance is crucial in addressing potential violations of your rights and navigating the criminal justice system.

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