Everyone in the United States is guaranteed certain rights and protections concerning their liberty and property. But what happens when law enforcement in Atlantic County violates your constitutional rights by illegally searching, detaining, or physically assaulting you? You could be owed compensation, but you’ll need an aggressive and experienced civil rights lawyer to help you demand it. You need The Zeiger Firm. Contact us today to speak to Atlantic County civil rights lawyer Brian Zeiger about your rights and how you can demand justice for what you suffered.
What Is a Civil Rights Attorney?
Everyone in the United States has certain guaranteed rights under the Constitution. These include protections from self-incrimination, cruel and unusual punishment, and unreasonable search and seizure and the right to due process. Unfortunately, those tasked with protecting these rights are sometimes all too eager to break them. If law enforcement has violated your rights, a civil rights attorney can help you demand justice, accountability, and compensation from them.
How an Atlantic County Civil Rights Attorney Can Help You
Civil rights attorneys strive to preserve and protect the rights and freedoms of those harmed by the wrongful conduct of police officers or other government actors who abuse their authority and infringe on the rights of others. As an experienced Atlantic County civil rights lawyer, Brian Zeiger can:
- Thoroughly examine the circumstances of the violation
- File notice with the appropriate civil rights agency
- Gather the necessary evidence for your case
- File civil rights claims on your behalf
- Negotiate settlements
- File a lawsuit, if necessary
Civil Rights Violation Cases We Handle
Civil rights violations can take many forms. At The Zeiger Firm, we can help if you’ve been the victim of:
- Excessive Force – This claim arises in cases of police brutality. Although New Jersey is implementing laws to reduce the use of force by law enforcement, police officers continue to use physical force beyond what is reasonably necessary. Doing so is illegal and a civil rights violation. Officers who hurt the people they are tasked with protecting deserve to be held accountable for their violence.
- Taser Use – Taser use is one example of excessive force. Tasers deliver a strong electrical shock meant to incapacitate a target and are sold as a less-lethal alternative to firearms. Unfortunately, they can still be deadly, having claimed at least 1,000 lives since 2000, according to Reuters. Further, a recent study by APM Reports found that officers in many large cities rated tasers as unreliable nearly 40 percent of the time, leaving officers to resort to deadlier force. Because of the possibility of their misuse, the use of a taser by law enforcement should be scrutinized for excessive force.
- False Arrest – The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. Detention by a police officer is construed as a seizure and is only lawful if it meets certain criteria. In most cases, the officer must have probable cause or a warrant to make an arrest. Otherwise, the detention could be considered a false arrest, which can give rise to a civil rights claim.
- False imprisonment – An officer who detains someone illegally, with or without making an arrest, may have violated their rights. A false imprisonment claim can arise from a police officer using bodily restraint, locking the victim in their squad car, keeping them in an interrogation room without justification and not allowing them to leave, or otherwise preventing them from leaving an encounter.
- Malicious Prosecution – The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects your right to liberty and due process. A prosecutor may have violated your rights and engaged in malicious prosecution if they bring charges against you despite having insufficient evidence, suppressed evidence that could aid in your defense, or gathered that evidence from unreliable sources.
- Racial Profiling – Racial profiling occurs when someone is singled out based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, or religion. New Jersey’s Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that it is illegal for state law enforcement to engage in racial profiling. If law enforcement targeted you because of your race, they may have violated your rights, and we can help hold them accountable.
- Body Cameras – Although the use of body cameras has become widespread to keep police officers accountable for their actions, their use also comes with the invasion of privacy concerns. Unknowing bystanders can be captured on camera. Confidential, sensitive video footage may be recorded on body cameras and shared without the consent of those in the footage. Worse still, police may harass those captured in body camera footage or use it as leverage for other cases.
Damages in Civil Rights Cases
If law enforcement violated your civil rights, various laws give you the right to sue for compensation, including Title 42, Section 1983 of the U.S. Code. Through a civil rights claim, you can seek compensation for various losses, including:
- Medical expenses – If you received medical care for an injury caused by police brutality, we can seek compensation on your behalf for the associated medical expenses. Any expenses related to medical treatment, including emergency services, follow-up appointments, physical therapy, or even mental health treatment, may be recoverable.
- Permanent impairment – Catastrophic injuries can result in permanent disabilities or impairment. You deserve compensation for the losses such impairments will cause you.
- Lost wages – If you missed work due to your injuries or wrongful incarceration, we can pursue a claim for the income you lost as a result.
- Pain and suffering – We can seek compensation for the pain and suffering caused by your physical injuries.
- Emotional distress – Few things are more traumatizing than being victimized by law enforcement tasked with your protection. The emotional distress you suffered at their hands is a compensable loss we can pursue on your behalf.
Contact The Zeiger Firm Today
Are you looking for experienced attorneys for civil rights in Atlantic County, NJ? At The Zeiger Firm, we are zealous protectors of the civil rights guaranteed to everyone in New Jersey. If the government has violated your rights, we are ready to demand they fairly compensate you. Contact us today for a free consultation with an Atlantic County civil rights lawyer.