Police or Prosecutorial Misconduct – The Need to Show a Constitutional Right was Violated
Civil Rights Act – Section 1983
The federal law for bringing Civil Rights Act Violations is written in Title 42 of the US Code under Section 1983. The main elements needed to prove a 1983 claim are:
That the person who did the wrong acted under “color of law.” Since police and prosecutors are hired to act for the best interests of the state where they work or for the federal government, this condition is usually fairly easy to prove. Shopping center and apartment security guards are not as easy to show they were acting on behalf of the state.
That you were deprived of a Constitutional right or a right under federal law. The main rights that citizens have under the US Constitution are set forth in the Amendments to the US Constitution.
Some Common Police Violations and the Amendments that were Violated
The text of the Amendments is given below.
A false arrest or false arrest claim is usually based on a claim that the police or prosecutors performed an unreasonable seizure. It can also be based on a showing that a warrant wasn’t issued or that a warrant was issued even though there wasn’t probable cause. A false arrest causes anxiety and stress. It can damage your reputation even if you defeat the arrest charge. Our firm brings Civil Rights claims for false arrest based on a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
False Imprisonment claims can also assert a violation of this amendment if the victim isn’t brought to justice in a timely manner, the jury is partial (not impartial), or the victim isn’t told of the charges against him. It also applies where someone isn’t allowed to prepare and present his/her case by being able to question witnesses and have counsel. Our firm brings Civil Rights claims for false imprisonment and an inability to present a proper defense – based on a violation of the Sixth Amendment.
Some defendants, because of psychological stress and police trickery give a confession to the police under duress, give confessions even though they know they’re force just to stop the questioning and give involuntary confessions. Our firm brings Civil Rights claims because a defendant was forced into a confession based on a violation of the Fifth Amendment.
Double Jeopardy Violations
The Sixth Amendment protects people from could double jeopardy – knowingly being arrested or tried for the same offense twice. Double jeopardy means double legal fees, double worries and the emotional frustration that democracy doesn’t work. Our firm brings Civil Rights claims for double jeopardy violations based on a violation of the Fifth Amendment.
Excessive force claims are based on the Eighth Amendment Constitutional right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment
Other types of claims
There are many other reasons for bringing a Civil Rights Claim such as planting evidence, malicious prosecution, lack of proper medical care, racial profiling and more. Our firm will help you determine which Constitutional Amendment(s) were violated.
Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution – Section 1
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
This Amendment is important because:
It defines who is a citizen. Citizens are allowed to bring a 1983 Civil Rights Violations.
The color of state law references comes from this section. Before this Amendment, only federal claims could be brought. With this Amendment, claims can be brought against state and local governments.
Contact Begelman & Orlow, P. C.
If you want to discuss your potential legal claims with an experienced New Jersey or Federal Civil Rights Attorney, contact us today for a free initial consultation. If you’ve been treated wrongfully because of law enforcement misconduct contact us today for a free initial consultation. We’ll determine which Amendment(s) were violated. In many cases more than one Amendment will be alleged to have been violated. From our offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, we represent clients pursuing Civil Rights throughout the country.