Phoenix Civil Rights Lawyers
Have your civil rights been violated by law enforcement officers? Do you want to get justice for this violation? Our Phoenix civil rights lawyers fight hard to get you the justice that you deserve. We are dedicated to our clients and fight for you to get the results that you deserve. Please call us and set up a consultation today.
Have Your Civil Rights Been Violated?
There are laws at both federal and state levels that are meant to protect people who have had their civil rights violated by law enforcement officers in the United States. If you have had your civil rights violated by a government agent or a civil servant such as a police officer, you may be entitled to compensation, which our Phoenix civil rights lawyers can help fight for you to get.
We urge you to consult with our lawyers if you believe that your civil rights have been violated by a police officer or government agency. We understand that you are likely frustrated and confused and we would like to provide you some clarity during the consultation.
At Smith and Green, the mission of our Phoenix civil rights lawyers is to help people who’ve experienced a violation of their civil rights. If you have been a victim of police brutality or a police shooting, please get in contact with us as soon as possible so that we can help you get the answers that you need and get you set on the path to justice right away. We have years of experience with these types of cases and we fight vigorously to get justice for our clients.
How a Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights
If your civil rights have been violated, you may have experienced the following types of damages:
- Being searched illegally, either on your person, in your vehicle, or in your home
- Being falsely arrest or wrongly detained
- Having had an officer use excessive force on you
- Experiencing misconduct or brutality from a police officer or law-enforcement agent
- Being pulled over because of your race
- Experiencing an improper stop while operating a vehicle
- Experiencing a police officer abusing their power
- Being discriminated against during an interaction with law enforcement
You can seek compensation for your damages with the help of our Phoenix civil rights lawyers that include any expenses related to being involved in an incident such as this, which might include something like your medical bills. It can also include punitive damages. This compensation comes from the party or the person involved in your incident who is liable for your injuries and damages.
Why is Section 1981 Important?
Shortly after the Civil War, the rights for individuals to be protected against discrimination regardless of what race they are was enacted through section 1981. It protects the individual from experiencing discriminatory treatment. While this also protects employees being treated badly by their employers based on race, it extends beyond that. Section 1981 is often brought up in regard to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Section 1981 can offer you, as the plaintiff, a longer period of time for your statute of limitations and can let you have uncapped damages after suffering an altercation of a violation of civil rights. It also gives you the ability to have an individual be the liable party.
Why is Section 1983 Important?
In order to get a true understanding of what section 1983 is and why it would be significant to you if your civil rights have been violated by law enforcement, before setting up your consultation with our Phoenix civil rights lawyers, please read over the actual text of section 1983 as it was written:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer’s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.
Section 1983 provides relief for plaintiffs in civil rights cases, but you need to meet some requirements. You must have been able to prove that your federal rights were violated by the liable party who was acting “under color of law state“. This is a very hard task to do but with Phoenix civil rights lawyers by your side you can rest assured that they are taking care of this. You will rely on your lawyer to understand this process thoroughly enough to provide you the assistance you need to get set on the path to justice.
There is a test that determines whether or not you have the right to sue under a federal statute that was given to us by the Supreme Court case of Cort v Ash. Your lawyer will be able to guide you through the steps and help you assess whether or not you will be able to receive justice based on it. Call us to set up a consultation to learn more.
Police Brutality and Shootings
To understand how the law applies to you if you were deprived of your civil rights by a law officer, you have to understand what the term “under color of” means. The term refers to when an accused acts as a representative of the state and deprives a victim of their civil rights. A police officer who uses excessive force would be someone who acts under color of the law. You can be protected under both state and federal law with regards to this issue. Our Phoenix civil rights lawyers can walk you through this.
Judges look at the following factors to see if a police officer would be someone who is guilty of violating civil rights:
- They were on duty as an officer
- They were wearing their uniform of a police officer
- They used handcuffs or other equipment that police use
- They arrested a person
- They showed their badge or said that they were a police officer
If there was a shooting that happened in the scope of an arrest process, the courts are normally going to see if the police officer was acting under color of state law.
The law in Arizona says that an officer can use deadly force only when they believe that this deadly force is necessary and it can only be for the following reasons:
- Self defense
- Or defending a third-party, if the target is trying to or they believe will use deadly physical force on the third party
An officer is legally justified in arresting someone or stopping them from escaping if they have reason to believe the following:
- Someone was trying to or has already done or has already tried to do or is in the middle of committing a felony that involves deadly weapons or is trying to use deadly force to commit a felony
- Someone is trying to get away by using a deadly weapon
- They already know who this target is and they believe them to be a threat and endangerment to human life or will inflict serious injury to others if they are not apprehended
If there is a riot, deadly force used against the riot is only lawful when someone participating in the riot or persons in the riot have and are trying to use deadly weapons.
The statute also gives justification for law enforcement officers who are also called peace officers to use deadly force physically when they believe it is going to protect themselves against another person who is capable or has potential use of deadly physical force against them.
Arizona state law has a statute that applies to police shooting cases. The statute is 12-820.02. The statute says that police officers, as well as any public employee, should not and cannot be held liable for performing duties that are within their scope of employment unless what they did was gross negligence or they had an intent to cause injury.
States provide these types of laws and statutes because officers have a very difficult time acting in a way that is necessary for their job to keep the peace if they are constantly worried about getting sued any time they do anything. This also means that you might have a more difficult time bringing a claim because police officers tend to be protected by the law. Our Phoenix civil rights lawyers will look through every detail of your case to determine the best course of action to set you on the path to justice after you have suffered damages.
Call Our Phoenix Civil Rights Lawyers Today
If you believe that your civil rights were violated by law enforcement or government agencies, please get in contact with us as soon as possible and we will set up a consultation to go over the details of your incident and let you know what you are legally entitled to. If we take on your case, we fight for your justice tooth and nail. Call us today.
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