Civil Rights &
Civil Rights. Personal Injury. Criminal Defense.
Civil Rights and Police Misconduct
We help individuals who have had their civil rights violated by police misconduct.Being arrested without cause, subjected to excessive force, or having the police conduct a non-consensual search are among the most traumatic experiences anyone can endure.
Unreasonable or Unnecessary Force by Police
The use of excessive or unnecessary force by police is a form of police misconduct and civil rights violation. Excessive force includes the excessive and unlawful use of deadly force, but also use of unreasonable or unnecessary police use of weapons (batons, Tasers, ‘less-lethal’ munitions, dogs, and pepper spray), as well as police use of force without weapons (fighting, control holds, handcuffing, prone restraint, and pursuits). Under federal law, police officers are prohibited from using deadly force – for example, shooting a person – unless the person poses an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or others. The use of excessive or unnecessary force violates an individual’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures protected by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Illegal Searches by Police of Your House, Car, Body or Other Possessions
The Fourth Amendment prohibits the police from conducting unreasonable searches and seizures. In general, this means police cannot search a person or their property without probable cause, a warrant or one of the valid exceptions to the warrant requirement. Despite the clear protections from illegal searches provided by the Fourth Amendment, illegal non-consensual warrantless searches by police are all too common. Any non-consensual search by police can be a traumatic experience, especially where there is a heightened expectation or privacy such as in a person’s home or an invasive search within a person’s body.
Illegal Arrests by Police
The right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment includes the right to be free from an illegal arrest. This prohibits the police from arresting a person without a lawfully issued warrant or probable cause. To have probable cause, the police must be able to articulate specific facts that would cause a reasonable police officer to believe an individual has, is currently or is about to commit a crime. Whether there was probable cause for an arrest depends on the totality of the circumstances. That means taking into account everything the officer either knew or reasonably believed at the time of the arrest. If there was no arrest warrant or probable cause at the time of arrest, it is an illegal or unlawful arrest.
Freedom of speech
Violations of Your Right to Free Speech by Police of Other Government Employee
The First Amendment protects freedom of speech. The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that protected speech includes both words and actions such as the right not to speak, the right to protest, the right to convey political messages, and even the right to use certain offensive words. Police or other government employees retaliation against an individual for the exercise of their First Amendment rights is a blackletter constitutional violation.
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