If you have experienced abuse, harm, discrimination, or retaliation from a government entity or employee in the United States, including federal, state, or local governments, schools, public commissions, or other government organizations, Garrity Traina is here to help. Our law firm specializes in handling a wide range of cases involving violations of civil rights, such as First Amendment rights, government corruption, due process violations, and equal protection under the law. We represent various individuals, including employees, executives, professors, teachers, and members of law enforcement, who have been victims of discrimination and civil rights violations.
What are Civil Rights?
Civil rights are the fundamental guarantees that provide equal social opportunities and protection under the law, regardless of a person’s religion, race, creed, or personality. These rights are the bedrock of our democracy and are achieved through positive legislation enacted by the government. In the United States, every citizen is entitled to five main civil rights:
- Access to government services
- The right to a fair trial
- The right to vote
- Access to public facilities and services
- The right to public education
During the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, these rights were fought for to ensure that all Americans, regardless of their race, could enjoy these fundamental rights. If you believe your civil rights have been violated, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced civil rights attorneys at Garrity Traina to discuss your case.
Is Racial Profiling Considered a Civil Rights Violation?
Racial profiling occurs when law enforcement, security officers, or other entities target individuals from minority groups for interrogation, searches, and detention based solely on the color of their skin. This blatant practice directly violates a person’s civil rights. Not only does racial profiling disregard the promise of equal freedom and protection under the law as stated in the US Constitution, but it also breaches the Fourth Amendment, which protects US citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. Racial profiling solely uses a person’s race as a basis for search and seizure, making it a clear civil rights violation. If you believe you have been a victim of racial profiling, contact the civil rights attorneys at Garrity Traina at 856-778-9700 to discuss your legal options.
What are ‘Color of Law’ Violations?
An official at the state, federal, or local level is said to be operating “under the color of law” when they perform an act within the scope of their lawful authority. For example, a police officer is acting under the color of law when they legally arrest an individual involved in a bank robbery. However, a color of law violation occurs when the official exceeds the bounds of their authority. In the previous example, if the officer did not have sufficient probable cause to justify the arrest, they would be in violation of the law.
A color of law violation typically results in a violation of a person’s civil rights due to a government agent’s intentional or unintentional actions that go beyond their legal authority. When a government agent, regardless of a person’s race, creed, or religion, deprives them of their civil rights while exercising their government-appointed powers, they commit a federal offense that can be severely punished, depending on the circumstances. If you believe your civil rights have been violated, reach out to the experienced civil rights lawyers at Garrity Traina at 856-778-9700 to explore your legal options.
Why is Police Misconduct Considered a Civil Rights Violation?
Police misconduct is considered a violation of civil rights for several reasons. The US Constitution and its amendments were designed to protect each and every citizen from oppression and tyranny, even at the hands of their own government. Title 18 of the US Code explicitly makes it illegal for police to deprive civilians of their civil rights or conspire to do so. False arrest, wrongful convictions, and police brutality all violate these protected rights. For instance, false arrest infringes upon civil rights such as the presumption of innocence and protection against unreasonable stops and seizures. Police brutality, particularly when used against citizens exercising their constitutional rights, such as peaceful protests and the right to assemble, directly violates civil rights. The Constitution and its laws were established to ensure law enforcement operates in accordance with civil rights, and any misconduct disrupts this balance. If you have been a victim of police misconduct, contact the civil rights lawyers at Garrity Traina at 856-778-9700 to discuss your legal options.
Are Hate Crimes Considered a Civil Rights Violation?
In many cases, hate crimes are considered civil rights violations. Hate crimes encompass violent actions targeted at individuals based on race, religion, background, disability, or sexual orientation. If the perpetrator commits the crime out of hatred towards a specific race or ethnic group and resorts to violence against the victim, it typically qualifies as both a hate crime and a violation of civil rights. Although hate crimes and civil rights violations often overlap, they are sometimes prosecuted separately due to the need to establish the motive based on the unique circumstances of each case. Since 2009, prosecutors have had additional tools to pursue civil rights violation charges against those who commit hate crimes. If you have been a victim of a hate crime, reach out to the civil rights lawyers at Garrity Traina at 856-778-9700 to discuss your case.