If you have been a victim of abuse, harm, discrimination or retaliation from a government and/or employee of the U.S., a state, city, town, school, public commission or other government, call Zeff Law Firm. We handle cases ranging from a violation of your First Amendment rights, government corruption, Due Process Violations (failures to follow appropriate rules and procedures), Equal Protection Under Law (treated victims differently). Our team represents employees, executives, professors and teachers, members of law enforcement, and many others in discrimination and civil rights cases.
What are Civil Rights?
Civil rights are the guarantee of access to equal social opportunities and equal protection under the law, regardless of religion, race, creed, or personality. These rights make up the building blocks of our democracy and are achieved by positive legislation on behalf of the government.
In the United States, there are five main civil rights that every citizen has. The five civil rights include:
Access to government services
- The right to a fair trial
- The right to vote
- Access to public facilities and services
- Right to public education
In the 1960’s, these rights were fought for during the Civil Rights movement, in the hopes of extending those rights to all Americans, regardless of race. Contact the experienced civil rights attorneys at Zeff Law Firm at 856-778-9700 if you believe your civil rights have been violated.
Is Racial Profiling Considered a Civil Rights Violation?
Racial profiling is the process by which law enforcement, security officers, or other entities target minorities for interrogation, searches, and detention simply based on the color of their skin. These actions are a direct and blatant violation of a person’s civil rights. On top of violating the US Constitution’s promises of providing equal freedom and protection under the law, racial profiling also directly violates the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment protects United States citizens from unreasonable search and seizure, and racial profiling bases search and seizure off of nothing but a person’s race, thus making it a civil rights violation. Contact civil rights attorneys at the Zeff Law Firm at 856-778-9700 if you believe you have been the victim of racial profiling to discuss your legal options.
What are ‘Color of Law’ Violations?
A state, federal, or local official is operating “under the color of law” when he or she performs an act within the scope of their lawful authority. For example, a police officer is acting under the color of law when he arrests an individual caught robbing a bank. However, a color of law violation occurs when the official’s acts exceed the bounds of their lawful authority. To use the same example, if that officer did not have adequate probable cause to warrant the arrest of a bank robbery suspect, that officer could be in violation of the law.
The effect of a color of law violation is typically a violation of a person’s civil rights due to a government agent’s willing or ignorant actions contrary to their legal authority. When a government agent deprives any person (regardless of race, creed, or religion) of their civil rights in application of their government appointed powers, they have committed a federal offense that, depending on the circumstances, can be severely punished.
If you believe your civil rights have been violated, contact the experienced civil rights lawyers at Zeff Law Firm at 856-778-9700 to discuss your legal options.
Why is Police Misconduct (including false arrest, wrongful convictions, and police brutality) considered a Civil Rights Violation?
Police misconduct is considered a violation of civil rights for a few reasons. The US Constitution and its amendments were written to protect each and every citizen from oppression and tyranny, even from their own government. Title 18 of the US Code specifically states that it is illegal for police to “deprive or conspire to deprive” civilians of their civil rights, and all of the aforementioned actions violate those rights. For example, false arrest violates a number of civil rights protections, such as presumption of innocence or reasonable stop and seizure. Police brutality and violence especially violate civil rights, as it is generally used in response to citizens exercising rights protected by the constitution, such as the right to assemble and have a peaceful protest. The amendments and laws in the Constitution were created to allow law enforcement to operate in compliance with civil rights, and police misconduct disrupts that balance.
If you have been the victim of police misconduct, contact the civil rights lawyers at Zeff Law Firm at 856-778-9700 to discuss your legal options.
Are Hate Crimes Considered a Civil Rights Violation?
In many cases a hate crime will be considered a civil rights violation. Hate crimes include any violent action towards someone based on race, religion, background, disability, or sexual orientation. If the perpetrator of the crime was motivated due to a hatred of a particular race or ethnic group, and used violence in their application against the victim, it is likely both a hate crime and a civil rights violation. Although hate crimes and civil rights violations overlap, they are often prosecuted separately due to the need to establish motive based on the unique circumstances of the case. As of 2009, prosecutors now have more tools to pursue civil rights violation charges against those that committed hate crimes.
If you have been the victim of a hate crime, contact the civil rights lawyers at Zeff Law Firm at 856-778-9700 to discuss your case.