If you believe that the police, or a government agency, or employee has violated your rights by improperly taking your property, arresting you without probable cause or any factual support, beaten you up or used excess force against you – you are not alone. This happens to thousands of people each day. Yet, almost none of those citizens who had their rights violated have any idea what to do.
The first question is what is a civil rights case.
The answer is that there are many types of civil rights cases, but they all have one thing in common. There has been a violation of your Constitutional Rights either Federal or State. You have the Right to Free Speech. This means that you have the right to peacefully express your opinion as to the propriety of a police officer’s action, and to complain about their behavior. You cannot interfere with their movement, delay them or block their access, but you can tell them in a loud voice –but not a yell- that what they are doing is wrong.
You have the Right to be free to travel and move about so long as you do so without violating traffic and safety laws. You have a Right not to be detained or stopped by the police unless they have reasonable suspicion based on satiable facts, not guesses or speculation, but facts. That detention can only last as long as it takes to determine if you have committed a crime or are about to committee a crime. Being dressed in baggy clothing, listening to headphones and walking down a street do not justify being detained. There must be more.
If you are stopped by the police and are not free to leave, and that stop lasts for more than a few minutes, you have been arrested. (note just having hand cuffs applied does not mean you are arrested, but it is an indication that the stop is moving towards an arrest.) The police can only arrest you if they have probable cause to believe you have committed a crime. In most states an officer can arrest you for a misdemeanor if he or she sees you violate the law, but no if someone else says you violated the law. For a felony, the police can arrest you if they have probable cause to believe you committed a crime. If the police have a warrant for your arrest, they can simply arrest you.
Civil Rights cases include situations where the police use excess force, or discriminate against you due to your race, national origin, sexual orientation, or religion. Employment cases based on race, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or religion are also civil rights cases.
If the government treats you differently than others, in zoning or permitting, or even simple business licensing that can be a civil rights violation.
There are many types of Civil Rights Violations, and you need an expert in the field to best assess your case, and represent your interests. You would not go to a dentist if you had a broken leg, and you should not go to just any injury lawyer when you have a civil rights case. Go to a specialist, call Kallis & Associates.
TAGS: Civil Rights, Police Misconduct,