Have your civil rights been violated? Are you the victim of police misconduct?
Typical Cases Include
Unlawful Arrests: Wrongful arrests happen when police take you into custody without probable cause to believe that you committed a crime. Police are not the only ones who can be responsible for a false arrest.
Unlawful Prosecutions: You have a legal remedy when you are subjected to a baseless criminal prosecution. You have a right to compensation if you have been forced to spend significant sums on legal fees defending yourself from frivolous charges.
Unlawful Home Entries: You have a constitutional right to privacy. You have a right to close the door of your home and be left alone--including by the police. The police may enter your home without your permission only under very limited circumstances.
Wrongful Convictions: Wrongful incarceration costs you time that you can never get back. It is traumatic, and destroys reputations and family relationships. Those damages are real--and there are legal remedies available to you.
Policy Brutality: Being a police officer is a dangerous job, but that does not excuse the use of excessive or unnecessary force. Police are highly trained civil servants who know what is appropriate, and what isn't, when it comes to force. They must be held accountable when they deviate from their training and betray the public's trust.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will defense lawyers get access to my psychiatric or medical records if I sue the officers?
A: Yes. When a victim alleges physical or psychological injuries due to police misconduct, the defense is permitted to gain access to that information.
Q: Will the officer lose his or her job if I win the case?
A: Only the police department, following an internal investigation, may decide whether to terminate an officer. However, the outcome of a civil suit may inform that investigation.
Q: Who pays if I win a case?
A: Generally, the municipality that employs the officer will pay. For example, in a case involving the NYPD, the City of New York would likely pay.
Q: How do I pay you?
A: Generally, civil rights attorneys receive a portion of the settlement or jury award. This is usually a one third share. In Section 1983 actions, attorneys may be eligible for a separate fee award.
Q: How long can a case last?
A: There is no definite timeline. Cases may resolve quickly, perhaps soon after filing. Cases may also last for several years. Each case is different.
Q: What can I expect once work on my case begins?
A: I will manage the legal aspects of your case and guide you every step of the way. You are hiring me to be the "captain" of your "ship," but it is YOUR ship. We will work together to present a professional, polished, and persuasive case.
Q: What if I plead guilty in my criminal case?
A: Generally speaking, that stops your ability to bring a lawsuit. However, there are exceptions. For example, no arrest, regardless of whether it was supported by probable cause or you pleaded guilty, justifies the use of excessive force.
Q: What happens if my criminal case is adjourned in contemplation of dismissal (ACD)?
A: You will likely lose your malicious prosecution claim, but you may still have other viable claims.
Q: Should I pursue a civil claim if I still have an open criminal case?
A: Generally, you should resolve your criminal case first, since the results of that case can affect whether you have a viable civil case. However, there are circumstances where starting the civil case earlier makes sense. It really depends on the situation.