Mr. Steering interviewed about Jovan Jimenez caseCivil Rights & Police Misconduct Self-Help Center


Suing the police for violation of your constitutional rights is not like prosecuting a rear-end collision case. Just because the police beat you, or falsely arrested you, or procured your malicious criminal prosecution doesn’t mean that in the real world that you can do anything about it. Innocent victims of police abuse often get criminally prosecuted by the local District Attorney’s Office to protect the police.

Jerry L. Steering has been suing police officers since 1984. He may be able to help you.

The Tabs Below Are A Guide For You To Get Justice In Your Police Misconduct Case.


Suing the police for you false arrest is complicated and needs the hand of a seasoned civil rights litigator to win, rather than lose your false arrest lawsuit. Constitutional norms and rights change all of the time. Unless your lawyer is an expert in constitutional rights cases, your chances of actually winning your case are usually small. The police and their lawyers know what they are doing. They do this every day. These are not personal injury cases.

These days, the “Doctrine of Qualified Immunity” now rules the day. Under the “Doctrine of Qualified Immunity“, so long as a reasonably competent police officer could have believed that he had probable cause for your arrest. Even if probable cause was lacking for your arrest, and, therefore, your Fourth Amendment rights were per se violated, the police are still immune from your lawsuit. In order to obtain a judgment at all for your false arrest you need to prove that the officer’s employing entity had a policy, custom or practice that was a cause of your constitutional violation. This is a doctrine of federal constitutional law, extremely complicated and is nearly impossible to do.

In addition to Qualified Immunity challenges, false arrest cases must survive various involve governmental immunities under California state law, such as Cal. Gov’t Code § 821.6 [malicious prosecution immunity and for continued incarceration after criminal action filed], Cal. Penal Code § 847(b) [immunity for false arrest by officer if reason to believe arrest lawful even if not] and Cal. Gov’t Code § 900 et seq [exhaustion of administrative remedies – claim filing requirement].

Most false arrests are the product of either police incompetence (i.e. don’t know the law) or the police beating you up or otherwise retaliating against you for “contempt of cop”. It takes great skill and many years of experience to actually win a false arrest case. The government has erected many barriers over the years to simply prevent you from being able to sue them when they violated your constitutional rights.

Jerry L. Steering has been suing police officers since 1984 for unreasonable force, false arrests, malicious prosecutions, concealing / destroying exculpatory evidence and other types of misconduct. He may be able to help you. Call us at (949) 474-1849.


Suing the police for violating your constitutional right to free from the use of unreasonable / excessive force by a police officer takes many years of experience. Constitutional norms and rights change all of the time, and unless your lawyer is an expert in constitutional rights cases, your chances of actually winning your case are usually small. The police and their lawyers know what they are doing. They do this every day.

It takes great skill and many years of experience to actually win an unreasonable force case against a police officer. The government has erected many barriers over the years to simply prevent you from being able to sue them when they violated your constitutional rights; everything from “sovereign immunity” to “absolute immunity” and today’s defense de jour; qualified immunity

Notwithstanding any apparent or obvious use of excessive or unreasonable force, over the past 30 or so years, the police profession and their “use of force experts” at criminal and civil trials are all too often able to convince juries that their use of force was “reasonable”.

The police state isn’t the police; it’s the public. It’s what the public (i.e. jurors) allow police officers to do. It is the public (jurors) who decide what is acceptable police behavior, and the public is very indulgent to the police in their verdicts. The public thinks that SWAT teams are normal for a call of a senile grandpa hold-up in the bathroom with a steak knife. The public thinks that failure to immediately comply with police orders (that they presume are lawful) is often sufficient grounds for the police to shoot one.

Jerry L. Steering has been suing police officers since 1984 for unreasonable force, false arrests, malicious prosecutions, concealing / destroying exculpatory evidence and other types of misconduct. He may be able to help you. Call us at (949) 474-1849.

Suing The Police for Wrongful Death” Under California state law, the heirs of one who was unlawfully killed by another may sue the responsible person or entity for the Wrongful Death of their heir. Under California law, if an adult dies without a spouse or children, the decedent’s parents become the heirs and are entitled to sue for wrongful death. If the decent was married, then the wife is the heir. If the decent died leaving a spouse and children, they both the wife and the children are heirs and can sue for the wrongful death of the decedent.

A California state law Wrongful Death action either by the heirs of the decedent as successors-in-interest and in their own right, or by the decedent’s estate. Although a parent of a married person or of a parent who was wrongfully killed may not be able to obtain relief for the loss of their child under the California wrongful death statute, federal law provides a remedy for extreme situations. Under federal law the parents and children of one slain by the police can both sue for the loss of that Parent – Child Relationship under the Fourteenth Amendment.

Wrongful killings of innocents by police officers is rampant. In today’s world of civil rights cases against police officers, there are certain “buzz words” that the police know will, in court, entitle them to justify their beating your brains in for any real or imaginary perceived threat.

40 years ago if a police officer shot someone to death and claimed that he was scared for his life, there had better be a gun there or the officer was in a lot of trouble. Not so today. Not so in our quasi-police state. This author has seen many police shooting and killing cases over the years, and one thing among others stands out; that you don’t see police “throw down guns” anymore. The police don’t need them anymore. Now, the police merely need say that they felt threatened by the decedent because the decedent moved his hand by his waist area, and they are allowed by our society to kill an innocent. This is no joke and the juries more often than not buy this.

These shootings when the dead guy ends up not being armed are called “perception shootings”. These days the police see just about any action by a civilian to be potentially threatening. A lot of this is the carry over from police officers also serving in the wars in the Middle East that the United States has been involved in since 2003. Even the Supreme Court of the United States has jumped in the fray and basically now permits just about any reason to justify police killings of innocents. For example in Plumhoff v. Rickard, 572 U.S. ___ (2014), the Supreme Court held that because police officers reasonably believed that a motorist was about to resume a high speed vehicle pursuit, that they had a right to shoot him to death. When the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department used Plumhoff’s rationale to shoot the driver of a fleeing car to death from a helicopter; causing the slain motorists car to kill others.

Suing the police for violating your constitutional rights takes many years of experience. Constitutional norms and rights change all of the time, and unless your lawyer is an expert in constitutional rights cases, your chances of actually winning your case are usually small. The police and their lawyers know what they are doing. They do this every day. When the police kill an innocent they are anything but repentant. They are not interested in finding the truth. They are only interested in protecting themselves from you.

The police state isn’t the police; it’s the public. It’s what the public (i.e. jurors) allow police officers to do. It is the public (jurors) who decide what is acceptable police behavior, and the public is very indulgent to the police in their verdicts. It’s difficult to sue the police for wrongful death and to win.

Jerry L. Steering has been suing police officers since 1984. He may be able to help you. Call us at (949) 474-1849.

San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos prosecutes the innocent victims of police outrages instead of the officers whom committed serious crimes against them

Malicious criminal prosecutions of the victims of police abuse are rampant; especially for patently ambiguous and constantly abused “resistance offenses” like “resisting / obstructing / delaying a peace officer in performance of duties“ or “preventing / deterring public officer from performing duties“. When the police falsely arrest you or beat you or do other terrible things to you, with few exceptions, the police almost always at least to attempt to procure your bogus criminal prosecution, when you were the victim and they are the criminal. This is no joke. This is normal. This is the world in which you live. They do this to shift the blame from them to you and to preclude you from being able to successfully sue them from vindicating your constitutional rights and your honor and dignity.

Under California state law, a police officer is absolutely immune for attempting to frame you for a crime that you didn’t commit, and even if you receive a finding of factual innocence from the judge who presided over your bogus criminal action. Cal. Gov’t Code Section 821.6. Neither the police officer nor the public entity who employed him/her while he/she attempted to frame you are civilly liable to those who they attempted to frame. This is simply outrageous, yet no one speaks thereof.

The DA’s who file these criminal cases don’t call you on the phone and ask for your side of the story. They don’t care. They indulge the police with an undeserved strong presumption of honesty, and based on the (sorry folks) lies in the police report, they file and persecute the crime victims. It’s really pretty simple. What the heck; if the DA finds out that the constable is lying, nothing will happen to him anyway. The DA has already chosen sides, and it’s not your side.

Federal law allows for civil lawsuits for malicious criminal prosecutions; maybe. On March 21, 2017 United States Supreme Court issued it Opinion in Manuel v. City of Joliet, No. 14–9496 (March 21, 2017), that essentially held that a police officer could be held liable for damages for the continued incarceration of one that he arrested, after the District Attorney’s Office filed formal criminal charges against Manuel.

Although this seems to provide a basis for a federal civil rights malicious prosecution actions, one must be cautious. United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Alito held in his Dissenting Opinion in Manuel v. City of Joliet:

“What is perhaps most remarkable about the Court’s approach is that it entirely ignores the question   that we agreed to decide, i.e., whether a claim of malicious prosecution may be brought under the Fourth Amendment. I would decide that question and hold that the Fourth Amendment cannot house any such claim. If a malicious prosecution claim may be brought under the Constitution, it must find some other home, presumably the Due Process Clause.”, Alito, J., Dissenting.

So, can you sue for a malicious prosecution if you were arrested? Probably. Can you sue for a malicious criminal prosecution if you were not arrested but only criminally prosecuted? Who knows. Probably.

Jerry L. Steering has been suing police officers since 1984 for unreasonable force, false arrests, malicious prosecutions, concealing / destroying exculpatory evidence and other types of misconduct. He may be able to help you. Call us at (949) 474-1849.

Ulysses S. GrantIn 1871 President Grant signed the Third Enforcement Act (to enforce the 14th Amendment), also known at the The Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, and now known as  42 U.S.C. § 1983. 

In 1961 in Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167 (1961) the Supreme Court finally held that  42 U.S.C. § 1983, is obligatory on the states, and that a person whose federal constitutional rights were violated by someone acting under the color of state law can sue for damages under that statute.

In order to give persons whose constitutional rights were violated by the Sheriff and his posse a real opportunity to obtain redress for violation of those rights, in 1976 Congress enacted 42 U.S.C. § 1988, that provides that a trial court may award a prevailing civil rights plaintiff attorney’s fees as costs in addition to whatever judgment that was obtained against the defendants. This was necessary to vindicate smaller but not less important constitutional violations by public officers and officials. Without the award of attorney’s fees most civil rights cases would not be brought. Lawyers are not going to litigate these cases for free, and they are not going to put hundreds of thousands of dollars of attorney’s hours into a case with no chance for any real pay out to them, or if successful, a very small one. No lawyer save a crusader is going to do $200,000.00 of legal work, invest $30,000.00 of their own money to make 40% of $5,000.00. It is just not going to happen. Not in this world.

Section 1983 is the catch-all remedy for any person acting under the color of state law (i.e. police officer, county clerk, the Mayor, etc.) who deprives another of their federal constitutional rights is liable to the injured party for their damages. This is called a “constitutional tort”. It is your remedy for the violation of your constitutional rights by state actors.

For violation of your federal constitutional by federal officers or agents, the Supreme Court has created a parallel tort remedy known as a Bivens claims (Bivens v. Six Unknown Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971)).

If your constitutional rights were violated by a state or federal officer or official, call us and we may be able to help you sue for the violation of your constitutional rights.

Jerry L. Steering, Esq.                                                                         Free Case Evaluation[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section]

You may have a First Amendment right to freedom of speech and to petition the government for redress of grievances (i.e. complain, sue), but tell that to the Dentist when you are getting implants after the police knocked your teeth out for mouthing-off to them, and tell that to your criminal defense lawyer when you are being criminally prosecuted for battery on and resisting a peace officer for resisting your beating and striking the officer’s knuckles with your chin.

Most people who have had these unfortunate “contempt of cop” encounters with today’s police officers will tell you that they never would have believed that they would have ever been in a situation where they would be treated so poorly by the police. They will tell you that they are law abiding citizens, were never before treated poorly by the police, and that up to that point in time they admired, respected and had defended the police to others. Chances are that if you are even reading these words, your bubble of police adoration and admiration has just burst. You have been victimized by the police.

In today’s “police state” constitutionally protected verbal questioning or challenging the lawfulness of police orders / conduct often results in your getting tackled, handcuffed, beaten, taken to jail on bogus “resistance offense” charges, made to post bail (or kept in jail), and thereafter getting charged by the District Attorney’s Officer for bogus “resistance offense” charges; even ones bogus on their face.

Mere questions to today’s police like, “What’s going on officer?” or  “Why do you want to search me and my car?” or “Why do you want me to sit on the curb?” or “Don’t you need a search warrant to be in my home officer?” or “Why do you want to handcuff me?”, often result in you getting tackled, handcuffed, arrested, beaten and taken to jail on bogus criminal charges.

This is common. This is normal. This happens all day every day. This is what the “police state” is; when the police can arrest you and goon you for mere verbal remonstrance or a failure to immediately, and without question, comply with police orders, and thereafter, procure your bogus criminal prosecution to preclude you from obtaining redress for their outrages perpetrated against you. That is what a prosecution is for resisting / delaying / obstructing / battery on an officer is for; to obtain a result in your bogus criminal prosecution that will prevent you from being able to successfully sue the police who violated you.

The County Deputy District Attorney who is assigned to filing criminal cases in Southern California typically reviews between 20 to 40 cases per day to make a filing decision on. All that they see is the initial police report(s); that’s it. They don’t seek or interview witnesses. They don’t review the patrol video or the audio recordings. They just read the officer’s report and if it contains the sufficient “buzz words” the DDA often files a completely bogus case.

To defend these case and win it takes many years of experience. Your lawyer need to know what types of recordings, data, reports and other types of evidence that is available from each particular police agency involved in your case. Your lawyer also needs to understand “the seamless fabric of the law” in these cases.  First and Fourth Amendment jurisprudence is subtle and ever changing as is the ever elusive vague, ambiguous and abused resistance offenses, such as violation of Cal. Penal Code §§ 148(a)(1) (resisting / obstructing / delaying officer), 240/241(c)(assault on  peace officer); 242 / 243(b) (battery on  officer); and 69 (interfering with public officer via threats or use of violence).

There are “angles” and strategies that an experience police misconduct lawyer will know or more readily discover than non-police misconduct specialists.

Jerry L. Steering is a police misconduct specialist. He can help you with your resistance offense case. Give us a call at (949) 474-1849.


Fourth Amendment jurisprudence is anything but simple. Because of the complexity of search and seizure jurisprudence, there enough ways for the police to “screw-up” that you just may be the beneficiary of their “screw-ups.” That is, if the police obtain evidence in violation of the federal constitution, that evidence is generally not admissible in court at your trial. This is known as “The Exclusionary Rule”, which was first made obligatory on the states in 1961 in Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961).

So, for example, Mr. Steering had a recent case where an anonymous tipster called the Seal Beach, California, Police Department and reported that a girl in a pink dress who was in front of the 7-11 Store, had heroin in her possession. The Seal Beach Police Department sent patrol cars to the scene and saw a girl dressed in pink walking down the street from the 7-11. The police stopped the girl and searched her purse; falsely claiming that she consented to a search of her purse. In the purse the police found a foil packet containing black tar heroin.

Because the detention of the girl was prompted by an anonymous tipster on a 911 call, the stop and detention of the girl was unlawful. See, Florida v. J.L., 529 U.S. 266 (2000) (police may not detain person based on anonymous tip alone.) Accordingly, Mr. Steering brought a Motion to Suppress the introduction of the heroin at trial, and the case was dismissed. So, although the girl in the pink skirt was guilty, she was able to stay out of the system. There are other ways one can “stay out of the system”, but very often, one’s lawyer needs to be able to “go after the cops” to keep you out. This is where Mr. Steering comes in.

Many times, if not most, cops lie in their reports and court testimony, even when the defendant is guilty. In the Rampart Scandal in Los Angeles (the basis for the movie “Training Day“), LAPD Officer Rafael Perez and his LAPD cohorts framed the guilty, and a lot of innocents in the process, to essentially take-over the illegal narcotics sales business in the Rampart LAPD patrol area (Central Los Angeles.) These cops were dirty, and so are most cops who are narcs (narcotics officers.) They lie for a living, and they’re usually good liars.

Because Mr. Steering is a Police Misconduct Specialist, he is in the best position to find the dirt on the narcs and to make them look like the liars that they are. You just can’t get this from a lawyer who only practices criminal law, and isn’t involved in Police Misconduct cases; especially civil ones against the police for monetary damages.

See if Mr. Steering can help you.

Jerry L. Steering, has been a litigating DUI cases since 1984. Sometimes Mr. Steering has had rather exotic DUI cases that even manifested into civil settlements. In Jane Doe v. City paid DUI arrestees “Jane Doe” $400,000.00 for her sexual battery by a OC Police Department police officer during a DUI stop. Rather than get prosecuted for DUI, “Jane Doe” obtained $400,000.00 from the City for her sex assault by the Police Officer. Mr. Steering also turned three DUI arrests into rather large pay days for three ladies from LB, California. They were all separately take to jail by a 20 year old Laguna Beach Police Department Cadet / Officer who was transporting DUI arrestees on the weekends from the Laguna Beach Police Department to the OC Jail. When he like his passengers, he would jump in the back seat of the patrol car and feel their breasts while the ladies were handcuffed.


If you have been arrested for DUI in California, you probably received a documents entitled Temporary Driver License / Age 21 and Older Suspension / Revocation Order. That document states, among other things, that:

“YOU HAVE 10 DAYS FROM RECEIPT OF THIS NOTICE TO REQUEST A HEARING TO SHOW THAT THE SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION IS NOT JUSTIFIED. The suspension or revocation will not be stayed (delayed) unless you request a hearing within 10 days from the issue date of this order and DMV cannot provide a hearing before the effective date of the suspension or revocation and make a determination.”

Accordingly, someone (you or your lawyer) needs to make a request for the DMV hearing within 10 days of your arrest for DUI based on alcohol impairment, or your driver license will be suspended; regardless of whether you are guilty of DUI or not. We can do this for you, and usually obtain the police reports in your case quickly; before you can get them from the court. We can also handle the DMV hearing for you, as well as your DUI criminal case.


Usually, the most that a DUI / Drunk Driving criminal defense lawyer can do for you in these cases, is to get a better plea agreement for you than you would have gotten yourself. Moreover, you just don’t want to be the person dealing with the District Attorney’s Office. They feel uncomfortable speaking with you, as they don’t want to be witnesses in their own case, and that just might happen if you represent yourself and make an admission or confession to the Deputy District Attorney.

However, there are occasions where errors by the arresting officer can result in your Drunk Driving case being settled for a lesser charge (i.e. reckless driving, alcohol related; “a Wet Reckless”), or being dismissed outright; such as when the officer didn’t have sufficient legal grounds to have made a traffic stop (the evidence of the officer’s observations of you, and your blood-alcohol test results, would then be considered “the fruit of the poisonous tree“; not admissible against the motorist at trial; essentially guaranteeing either a dismissal or verdict in the motorist’s favor.)

Your lawyer may even get you an acquittal at trial; especially when you’re actually innocent. In close blood-alcohol cases (i.e. 0.08% breath test), you may also be able to show that at the time that you were driving, that your blood-alcohol was lower, and that it was on the rise (absorption over time into the blood) at the time that you took your test. Moreover, breath-tests are only an estimate of your actual blood-alcohol. Over the years, experiments were done to compare the ratio of alcohol found in a person’s blood, compared to the amount of alcohol found in deep-lung air. The scientists came-up with an average ratio in the average person; that ratio being 2,280 more alcohol found in 1cc. of blood than in 1cc. of deep-lung air. Some persons tested as high as a 1:1300 blood to breath alcohol ration, and some tested as low as a 1:3000 ratio. Therefore, the law enforcement community settled on breath machines, that collect 1 cc. of deep-lung air from a DUI suspect, multiply that amount of alcohol (that is ethyl alcohol) by 2,100, and come-up with an estimated amount of alcohol in that person’s blood.

There are physicians and other experts that can testify on this for a person prosecuted for DUI who took a breath test only. DUI criminal defendants can even have their own blood to breath alcohol levels tested, to prove their innocence. Thus, there are ways to win DUI alcohol cases, but in most cases, that is not the expected outcome. Jerry L. Steering is an expert in Fourth Amendment search and seizure law, and his experience in litigating search and seizure issues may be a great benefit to you to prevail in your DUI case. His science background (i.e. B.S. Biology / Chemistry) is also helpful in this area.



More and more these days, person are being prosecuted for driving under the influence of prescription medications; some of which don’t even make the person feel impaired. For example, the DUI case drug of the past few years have increasing been based on the common sleeping pill, Ambien. Some people wake up fine on Ambien, and some think that they are fine but really are not safe to drive. They don’t even know it.

Moreover, these days, marijuana is more and more being the predicate drug for DUI prosecutions. However, there is no scientific study that shows driving impairment from driving while high on pot, and, in fact, motorists on pot actually drive safer than they would have otherwise because they know that they are touched and drive more carefully and slower. When you see a motorists going really slow on the freeway, there’s a good chance that the motorist is high on reefer. With the right lawyer, DUI pot cases should be winnable; at least more so than DUI alcohol cases.

If we can answer any of your questions, or if you’d like to discuss The Law Offices Of Jerry L. Steering representing you in a DUI case, please feel free to call for a free phone consultation.

Best of luck,

Jerry L. Steering, Esq.

Suing Bad Cops And Defending Bogus Criminal Cases Since 1984

Inmates Raymond Cuevas and Jose Paredes received $1,500.00 per day and various luxuries in exchange for producing recordings of inmates making incriminating statements. They are Mexican Mafia dropouts

Mr. Steering tried his first murder case in Athens, Georgia in 1984. He had only been out of University of Georgia Law School for a few months. His client, Katie Mae Wilson, was accused of murdering her husband, Curtis Wilson, with a large boiling pot. Mrs. Wilson hit her husband’s head so hard with the boiling pot that she put a punt in it and Mr. Wilson’s blood and hairs stuck through the crack in the pot.

Mr Steering showed the judge and the jury that Mrs. Wilson was a frequent victim of beatings by Mr. Wilson, and the jury ended up finding her guilty of manslaughter and the court only sentenced her to 6 months in jail.

In People v. Mark Edwin Taylor,  6 Cal. App. 4th 1084 (1992) Mr. Steering was able to finally reverse the conviction of Mark Taylor for Second Degree Murder, for his passing around a PCP laced cigarette to an 18 year old boy, who drown from playing in the surf at Huntington Beach, California when a big wave to him to Davy’s Jones’ Locker. In doing so, Mr. Steering obtained the above-referenced Published Opinion that held that PCP is not inherently dangerous to human life; resulting in the reversal of a conviction based on California’s Second Degree Felony Murder rule.

In People of the State of California v. Michael Wesley Baker, Mr. Steering was able to get the greatest “sweetheart deal” in an OC murder case. See, Prosecutors agree to 3-year sentence, not life, after defendant claims illegal use of snitches, OC Register, January 25, 2018.

If you want a sweetheart deal on your homicide case, or a straight-up acquittal, Mr. Steering may be able to help you.

Jerry L. Steering

Mr. Steering has been defending theft and investor fraud cases since 1984. The United States Postal Services has called NB, California the Mail Fraud capital of the world, and indeed it is. Mr. Steering has been pretty successful in defending these fraudsters. It is often difficult for the government to prove that you engaged in a scheme or artifice to defraud, and even difficult to prove that they used the mails when carrying out that scheme.

See if we can help you.

Assault and battery cases against non-police officers are often more complicated than one would imagine. In California there are several defenses to assault & battery, such as self-defense, defense of another, the Duress Defense, defense of property, the Claim of Rights Doctrine and the use of force in making a private person’s arrest and other defenses.

Call the Law Offices of Jerry L. Steering to see if we can help you with your assault & battery case.

Jerry L. Steering