How is deprivation of constitutional rights defined in Colorado

Denver, CO – Victims of police brutality in Colorado can use Title 18 of the US Codes to file a civil rights lawsuit against the officers involved in their case or the police department they work for. All you need to do is contact an experienced Denver police brutality lawyer and let them help you get justice.

What is Title 18?

U.S. Code Title 18 can be relevant to various types of police brutality, including:

  • Use of excessive force
  • Intimidation
  • The improper use of pepper spray
  • Lying on official documentation to make an arrest
  • Coerced confession
  • Coercion to perform sexual acts

At the same time, Title 18 says law enforcement agents cannot keep private citizens from expressing or invoking their constitutional rights.

What is deprivation of constitutional rights under color of law?

If by their actions, police officers keep you from invoking your civil rights this constitutes a crime often referred to as deprivation of constitutional rights under color of law. The term ‘under color of law’ is mentioned in Section 242 of Title 18 which also explains the punishment for such a crime.

The term designates not only police officers, but also local, state, and federal officials. It can be anyone who has lawful authority but willfully acts beyond the bounds of such authority. Police officers represent law enforcement, but it is a crime when use their power to deprive others of their constitutional rights

Police brutality is a form of misconduct that violates a civilian’s fundamental rights as guaranteed under:

  • The Fourth Amendment (which protects individuals against unreasonable searches and seizure, arbitrary arrests, and unlawful detention)
  • The Fourteenth Amendment (which protects the right to not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process)

How are Title 18 cases prosecuted?

There’s a clear distinction between criminal charges and a civil rights lawsuit.

If an officer is charged with deprivation of constitutional rights under color of law, such a case will be investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by the US Department of Justice, as this is a federal crime.

If you were the victim of such a crime you will have to file a separate civil rights lawsuit and seek damages. You are entitled to receive damages for your

  • Physical and emotional suffering
  • Humiliation and loss of reputation
  • Healthcare expenses
  • Damage to your property
  • Lost income, for the duration of your recovery or your false imprisonment

In Colorado, you have up to three years to file a police misconduct lawsuit.

A police officer found guilty under Title 18 is liable for damages of up to $25,000. However, your lawyers will try to file a case against the police department or the local council. In most cases, such lawsuits never make it to court. Even if you file a lawsuit, your lawyers will continue negotiating with local authorities and, eventually, the matter will be settled out of court. 

If you were a victim of any type of police misconduct, you should contact an experienced civil rights lawyer at the Bryan&Terrill law firm to see if you have a case.

Contact info:

Bryan & Terrill

333 W. Hampden Ave., #420B

Englewood, CO 80110

(720) 923-2333


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