New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

Civil Rights

When police officers plant drugs

Police officers have an unfavorable reputation for planting drugs on suspects. Because of recent news coverage, there is great interest in the matter. According to USA Today, thousands of officers receive disciplinary strikes every decade. How many are guilty of planting drugs on those who are clean remains undetermined. Here is some information worth knowing if you face a false arrest for drug possession. What the consequences are of drug possession Penalties for carrying drugs vary depending on the state and surrounding circumstances. In New York, a Class A misdemeanor violation could...

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What are the potential new limits to Bivens claims?

Civil rights are a guarantee for everyone in New York and the rest of the country to protect them from government overreach. One example is the right that allows a person to sue a police officer for false arrest. Bivens claims are a part of these rights and give people the power to defend themselves against federal officials. What are Bivens claims? About 50 years ago, during Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the court allowed the plaintiff to seek civil damages from federal officers who violated their Fourth Amendment rights. After that original case,...

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Protester sues NYPD for police brutality

The killing of George Floyd by a police officer prompted hundreds of protests in the New York City area and throughout the country. The Black Lives Matter movement has inspired people to protest police brutality and subsequent killings of people of color by police. Unfortunately, there are still instances of police misconduct occurring. One protester has sued the NYPD, alleging excessive force. What happened during the incident? The incident occurred on June 3, 2020, on 50th St. and 3rd Ave. A group of New Yorkers was protesting the killings of George Floyd and other Black people at the...

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What is the Fourth Amendment?

During a criminal investigation, you must balance two competing interests. The first is the interests of the government and the second is whether the intrusion violates your Fourth Amendment rights. According to the U.S. Courts, the Fourth Amendment protects the public against unnecessary government searches and seizures. This amendment does not guarantee protection from all searches and seizures but those considered unreasonable based on the law. What the Fourth Amendment protects The protections under the Fourth Amendment apply to police searches and situations where you have a reasonable...

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Do inmates have a right to dental care?

When going to prison, inmates often expect to experience confinement, isolation and even intimidation from correctional officers. They may not expect, however, to face declining health. Still, according to the Marshall Project, some inmates wait almost a decade for dental care. Because they are unable to visit the dentist on their own, inmates have a right to dental care inside prison walls. Regrettably, due to dentist shortages and other factors, prison officials often delay dental procedures so long that inmates suffer both considerable pain and catastrophic complications. The importance...

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What are the rights of inmates in New York?

There are thousands of inmates in New York prisons and jails. Although these individuals are incarcerated, they still have certain civil rights. It's important to know how inmates are protected and to know about New York's bail reform. What are inmates' basic rights? There are certain prisoners' rights in place in New York and throughout the United States. Those basic rights include the following: Inmates must be placed in humane facilities instead of in those that are not fit for humans. Conditions must be reasonable and not cruel or unusual. Inmates have the right to not be sexually...

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Qualified immunity and your civil rights

As a New York resident, you may benefit from learning more about the problems with qualified immunity, police misconduct, and protecting your civil rights. Recent studies show that the concept of qualified immunity is outdated and that police need to be incentivized to adopt practices that reduce excessive uses of force. Federal criminal and civil statutes protect all citizens from police misconduct committed by the state, county, and local officers, including jail and prison authorities. Understanding qualified immunity Qualified immunity is a defense that exists to eliminate the fear of...

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What can you do if you witness police brutality?

If you are like many people, you want justice when you see police brutality. You may think that there is little that you can do, but really witnesses can make all of the difference. According to the Huffington Post, without witnesses, police brutality goes unchecked in the United States. If you witness police brutality, you can film it. The following are some tips on what you can do. Remain at a safe distance Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot film the encounter. If you see an officer abusing his or her power, you have every right to use your phone to film it. Be careful, however....

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Why are some people fighting to withhold misconduct files?

Accountability and transparency are important to preventing corruption in law enforcement. Until recently in New York, as well as in many other states, misconduct records in personnel files were not available to the public. However, state lawmakers repealed the law that kept the files private in 2020. On the surface, this appears to be a win for civil rights and justice. It appears that legislators' intentions and the execution of their legislation may not go hand in hand, though. Creating roadblocks to access According to ABC News, repealing section 50-a of New York's civil rights law did...

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What are the rules about officers drawing their firearms?

It seems there is a new story every week about law enforcement having run-ins with individuals and drawing their guns. These stories often result in a shooting death. Some recent cases have brought about outrage due to the senseless nature of the situation. It also has led to people wondering what the rules are about officers drawing their guns and using them as deadly force. You may wonder about the specific rules for officers in New York. No rules According to the New York Times, there are no rules regarding when an officer can draw his or her gun on a suspect. The general rule of thumb is...

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