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Police Misconduct Laws and Claims in Indiana

Police officers have broad powers when it comes to exercising their duties. They put their lives on the line to protect the people and serve society. For this reason, they also have a certain amount of qualified immunity against civil lawsuits. Of course, this immunity doesn't apply when police officers act in a manner that qualifies as misconduct.

A police officer's conduct can be considered police misconduct in a variety of ways. For example, if an officer performs an unlawful search and seizure or makes a false arrest, it can be considered misconduct. It's also misconduct if an officer uses excessive force. It's important to remember, however, that an officer is permitted to use reasonable force if a suspect resists arrest.

Police Misconduct Laws and Claims in Indiana: At a Glance

The chart below provides a helpful overview of police misconduct laws and claims in Indiana. For more detailed information, please visit the links also provided in the chart.


Indiana Code, Title 35:

Official Misconduct

A public servant commits official misconduct if they knowingly or intentionally:

  • Commit an offense in performance of their official duties;
  • Accept or solicit property from an employee or appointee as a condition of continued employment;
  • Acquire or divest of a monetary interest in property or a transaction (or help someone else do so) based on information that they obtained through their position; or
  • Fail to deliver public records and property in their custody to their successor.

Official misconduct is a Level 6 felony.

When a Police Officer May Make an Arrest A police officer may make an arrest when they have a warrant or have probable cause under a variety of circumstances. Examples of these circumstances include if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed a felony or they're committing a misdemeanor in the officer's presence.
When a Police Officer May Use Force

A police officer is justified in using reasonable force if they reasonably believe that it's necessary to complete a lawful arrest. A police officer is justified in using deadly force only if they:

  • Have probable cause to believe it's necessary;
  • Need to prevent the commission of a forcible felony; or
  • Need to complete the arrest of a person who the officer has probable cause to believe poses a threat of serious bodily injury to someone (including the officer) and has given a warning (when feasible) to the person against whom the deadly force will be used.
Related Statute(s) Indiana Code, Title 35. Criminal Law and Procedure

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 Indiana: Related Resources

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

Questions About Police Misconduct Laws and Claims in Indiana? Ask a Lawyer

If you've had an encounter with the police that you feel crossed the line, it's best to get in touch with a local civil rights attorney who will have experience with police misconduct laws and claims in Indiana.


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