If you’ve suffered harm due to police misconduct, a criminal defense lawyer for civil rights can help you seek justice and relief, such as release from wrongful incarceration or financial restitution for your injuries and other losses. Attorney Brian Zeiger has extensive experience in criminal justice and civil rights. He has earned numerous accolades, including listing on National Trial Lawyers’ Top 40 Under 40 and Top 100 Trial Lawyers, a 10.0 rating on AVVO, and recognition from Super Lawyers in criminal defense and civil rights. Contact The Zeiger Firm for a free initial case evaluation with an experienced Pittsburgh civil rights attorney.

Our Civil Rights Legal Services

At The Zeiger Firm, a police misconduct attorney in Pittsburgh can help you seek accountability and justice if you’ve had your civil liberties violated by law enforcement through:

Taser Use

Police use tasers as a less-than-lethal means of subduing a suspect who’s fleeing or resisting arrest. A taser uses two metal contacts to deliver a strong electric shock when held against a person’s body. Some models of tasers shoot small, barbed darts wired to the taser to deliver a shock at a distance. Although the law allows law enforcement officers to use tasers against suspects, each law enforcement agency sets its guidelines for the use of tasers to stop or subdue suspects.

Although designed as a less-than-lethal device, a taser can cause death if improperly used. A report by Reuters linked over 1,000 deaths over the years to taser use. Police officers sometimes use tasers in inappropriate circumstances or as an unnecessary escalation of force, such as when less forceful means could have subdued a suspect or by continuing to shock a suspect after they ceased fleeing or resisting. If you think you or a loved one was unnecessarily tased, reach out to a PA civil rights attorney for a confidential case evaluation to determine if this was a civil rights violation.

Police Brutality

Police brutality frequently involves a wanton, cruel, or vicious use of force against a suspect in situations that justify the use of some force. Police brutality may take the form of beatings, sexual assault, malicious use of firearms or tasers, malicious deployment of police canines, or deliberate indifference to detainee/inmate safety. If a law enforcement officer harmed you, you may be able to recover damages for your health care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our attorneys can also review your case to determine if police brutality may impact your constitutional rights and your underlying criminal case.

Excessive Force

Excessive force occurs when a police officer uses a greater level of force than necessary to subdue or detain a suspect or inmate, or to subdue a crowd. In certain circumstances, law enforcement officers use force against people without sufficient justification, including deadly force. However, officers should only use deadly force in situations involving an imminent risk of severe injury or death to officers or the public. Ideally, police officers should use lower levels of force to gain control of a situation before resorting to violence that can cause severe injuries or death. Police officers should also employ de-escalation techniques rather than immediately resorting to force unless the officers or the public face imminent danger.

The use of excessive force is one of the most common civil rights violations. It is known to occur more often in minority groups, including those in marginalized communities, individuals with a disability, people of color, or due to discrimination against people of a certain religion or sexual orientation. Our attorneys can evaluate your claim to determine if the events in question were a violation of your civil rights.

False Imprisonment

Police officers falsely imprison someone when they unlawfully restrict a person’s freedom without justification. False imprisonment does not require the police to place someone in a jail or prison cell. Instead, false imprisonment can occur when officers physically restrain a person without justification or authorization.

False Arrest

The constitution requires that a person not be deprived of their liberty or arrested without a valid warrant or probable cause. A false arrest occurs when police arrest a person without a warrant or probable cause. An arrest is not false simply because the facts that led police to arrest a person proved incorrect. Instead, an arrest is false only if officers lack knowledge of facts that would support probable cause or disbelieve the alleged facts supporting probable cause.

Malicious Prosecution

Prosecutors engage in malicious prosecution when they initiate a criminal proceeding against a person without probable cause to believe the person committed a crime. Officers or prosecutors may also act maliciously when they arrest or bring charges against someone specifically to harass or retaliate against them. To succeed in a malicious prosecution claim, a victim must have the underlying criminal proceeding terminated in their favor, such as a dismissal of the charges for lack of probable cause.

Racial Profiling

Racial profiling occurs when police officers undertake law enforcement actions against a person based solely on that person’s race, color, ethnicity, or national origin. Law enforcement actions that may lead to a racial profiling claim include initiating a traffic stop, detaining an individual, conducting a warrantless search, arresting the individual, or initiating criminal prosecution. Proving police engaged in racial profiling can become challenging if officers can point to objective facts supporting reasonable suspicion or uncover evidence of a crime during a detention or search. An experienced attorney can review the case to determine if a person’s civil rights were violated in this manner.

Body Cams

Many police departments now require officers to wear body cameras while on duty. Supporters of police body cams argue that cameras can deter police misconduct and facilitate officer training by providing recorded examples of proper and improper police conduct. Conversely, body cams may end up at the center of civil rights cases when officers deactivate their body cams during interactions with citizens or when footage goes missing or gets deleted. It can also be a civil rights violation for the footage on these cameras is misused, such as by intimidating a witness or ridiculing a person with a disability.

Why Choose Us to Handle Your Civil Rights Case

If police or prosecutors have violated your civil rights, let The Zeiger Firm help you seek compensation and justice for your suffering. For two decades, we have stood up on behalf of clients who have been victims of injustice at the hands of law enforcement in Pittsburgh and across Pennsylvania. We’ve recovered many six- and seven-figure awards on their behalf. We are not afraid to go to court and hold officers and other public servants accountable when they violate a person’s civil rights. Our experienced legal advocates can leverage their knowledge and insights to fight for you and hold those responsible for your harm and suffering accountable for their actions. We believe this is important not just for protecting your rights but those of society at large, as it can prevent future abuses of authority.

Contact a Civil Rights Lawyer in Pittsburgh Today

If you’ve suffered injuries, emotional harm, and the deprivation of your constitutional rights by the police, get legal help from a Pittsburgh wrongful arrest attorney and hold law enforcement accountable for their bad behavior. Contact The Zeiger Firm today for a free consultation in Pittsburgh, PA. We look forward to explaining how we can help you seek justice and financial compensation for violations of your civil rights.

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