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How to Pick a Civil Rights Lawyer for Police Misconduct Case

This content about police misconduct and civil rights was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.

As an individual in the United States, you are entitled to basic rights – civil rights. Though civil rights have been historically associated with the movement for social justice to provide African-Americans equal rights under the law, these rights apply to all individuals, no matter their race, religion, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or other characteristics.

This means that everyone is entitled to fair and equal treatment in all areas of society, including education, employment, housing, and others. If those rights were to be violated, such as in the case of police misconduct and civil rights violations, the victim is entitled to legal action.

What cases do civil rights lawyers handle?

Since one of the main purposes of civil rights is to protect individuals against discrimination and unfair treatment, a civil rights lawyer is an attorney who deals with discrimination claims. Therefore, cases such as hate crimes, housing discrimination, racial profiling, wrongful arrests, police misconduct, and police brutality are all civil rights cases.

California police misconduct and civil rights cases

Instances of police misconduct and civil rights violations are now at the forefront of the biggest societal issues in the United States. These cases are usually treated as civil rights cases, though there are instances where the misconduct is so egregious that they are treated as criminal cases. Remember that police misconduct can have many different forms, such as:

  • Police brutality
  • Excessive force
  • Wrongful arrest and detentions
  • Sexual assault
  • Planting evidence
  • Torture to coerce confessions

Civil rights derive from federal legislation and the Constitution, which is why many police misconduct and civil rights cases are based on a violation of freedom of speech, the right to due process, right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. In California, victims of police misconduct and civil rights violations can file a Section 1983 lawsuit.

What to look for in a civil rights attorney

Having the right lawyer for your police misconduct and civil rights case can significantly favor your chances of a successful outcome, so there are some important traits and characteristics you should look for in your civil rights attorney. Some of the most important traits include experience, openness, and communication.

Asking questions related to the amount of police misconduct and civil rights cases the attorney has handled and the outcomes of those cases can help you tap into the experience of your potential attorney. Openness has a lot to do with giving you a realistic evaluation of your case and what you can expect so that you can make an informed decision. And communication is of course paramount due to the nature of the claim. If you feel like your lawyer is not taking the time to listen to your experiences and answer your questions, it might be time to find a new attorney.

Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California.  Call or email us for a free consultation.

This content about police misconduct and civil rights was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.