Do I Have A Civil Rights Claim?

Police Abuse and Brutality Lawyers in Illinois

The United States of America was founded on equality, and as we strive to get closer to that ideal every day, the US Constitution provides certain inalienable rights to every single citizen. When a police officer violates your rights, you need to find a civil rights attorney immediately.

Chicago Civil Rights Violations

There are a number of ways that your rights may be violated by law enforcement officers or other actors of the government. Some of these more common crimes include the following.

  • Excessive Force
  • False Arrest
  • Illegal Searches and Seizures
  • Police Shootings
  • Wrongful Convictions
  • Malicious Prosecution
  • Police Brutality
  • Taser Abuse
  • Civil Class Action Litigation
  • And more

These offenses are serious. You need experienced representation to stand on your behalf, because allowing these horrible acts of injustice to continue is in itself contrary to the founding principles of our proud country. Together, we can make things right.

Section 1983 and the Civil Rights Act

States enforce your civil rights through a section of law known as Section 1983, of Title 42 United States Code. This is part of the original Civil Rights Act and Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, which was introduced by President Grant as a way to calm racial tensions. Hotly debated, it was reinterpreted in a much more broad sense in the 1960s and 70s, and it's now the Supreme Court's primary tool in civil rights litigation.

Filing a Section 1983 claim has two main components. First, you need to prove that the person who violated your rights was an actor of the government. For most cases, this is relatively easy- police officers are prime examples of government workers. Second, you have to prove that this person's actions deprived you of your constitutional rights. This is where having an experienced civil rights attorney is important. Defining exactly how civil rights violations occur is extremely complicated, as there have been hundreds and hundreds of pages of laws and clarifications written on this subject, through over a century of litigation and Supreme Court cases.

Excessive Force and Police Brutality

If a police officer uses excessive force, that's a violation of your rights. Police brutality is far too common across the country, but victims of this crime are entitled to have that violation recognized by a court of law. That means you're entitled to compensation. A police officer is only allowed to use the minimum amount of force necessary to arrest you, so if he or she used more than that, you likely have a case.

Your Chicago Civil Rights Defense Lawyers

Civil rights have a definite history in Cook County and Chicago. If yours are violated, you need a smart, resourceful legal team at your back. Recently, one of our victories resulted in the City of Chicago paying out $450,000 to two drivers falsely charged with DUIs, with a settlement on the eve of trial. This also resulted in the Cook County state attorney's office dropping charges against more than 130 drivers arrested for DUI. We may be able to have the same victory in your civil rights case. Call us for a free, no obligation consultation today at (312) 327-3370.