New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

Civil Rights

Issues disabled people deal with while in contact with the police

Getting pulled over by the police in New York is a stressful time for anyone. Unfortunately, this stressful situation is often worse for disabled individuals. In some cases, law enforcement can misread someone's disability as criminal behavior. Disabled people could be accused of a crime, such as DUI or resisting arrest, that they did not commit. Difficulty hearing law enforcement's commands Many civil rights or police misconduct matters involve commands given to civilians. If someone is deaf, these people won't be able to hear an officer's commands. Similar situations happen when a disabled...

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Your rights while in prison

After being arrested and taken to jail in New York, you might think that you will have the bare minimum of supplies and poor conditions to get you through. However, there are certain rights that you have as an inmate so that you feel safe and so that you are as healthy as possible while awaiting trial or until your release date. Humane conditions One right that inmates have is humane conditions. You also have the right to not be treated as though you're guilty before you have a trial. The facility should have running water and proper plumbing so that you can maintain your hygiene. Your...

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When is an arrest wrongful?

A man was arrested outside of a courthouse in New York City for allegedly violating a state statute dealing with criminal contempt in the second degree. He was taken into custody for sharing information about the court system's "dirty little secret." It is a practice referred to as "jury nullification" in which juries have the legal power to set a person free if the law used to bring charges against him or her are unfair. Was it a crime? The arresting officers contended that the defendant broke a law that disallows people from handing out flyers to entice a course of action within 200 feet...

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Section 1983 and filing a civil rights claim based on it

All New Yorkers deserve to be treated with respect. In spite of laws requiring police to be respectful even when arresting someone, violations occur. This is where Section 1983 comes in to protect people. What is Section 1983? Section 1983 is part of the Civil Rights Act of 1871, a federal law that allows people to sue if their civil rights are violated. Under local or state law, this applies when someone acting under color of law deprives a person of their civil rights. In most cases, this applies to police officers violating someone’s civil rights. Violence doesn’t always have to be...

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Jail “fight night” may reflect civil rights violations

Spending time in a New York jail could be dangerous, and inmates rely on guards to enforce rules that promote safety. Unfortunately, controversies might arise when guards become derelict in their duties. Not taking steps to break up "fight nights" organized by inmates may leave the prison system open to a civil lawsuit while potentially exposing authorities to claims of civil rights violations. Fight night at a New York jail Cellphones and other compact devices make it easier to film events, including those situations that may incriminate others. At Riker's Island jail in New York, video...

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The government must abide by the Brady Rule

Each criminal defendant has a legal right to win their case under the U.S. Constitution. The federal government has an obligation to release evidence in the defendant's favor under the Brady Rule. In New York, the use of evidence for both plaintiffs and defendants is fully protected in federal courts. The Brady Rule The Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland recognized that every accused defendant has the Constitutional right to receive a fair trial. Prosecutors must disclose any and all evidence to the defense that is favorable to the defendant. This is called exculpatory evidence that favors...

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When a malicious prosecution becomes a court case

A malicious prosecution is a form of legal abuse that is initiated by a member of law enforcement or a judicial system. It is committed with malicious intent by the plaintiff against the defendant. In New York, if there is no probable cause for the proceeding, the case becomes a tort and abuse of power. A violation of civil rights law Malicious prosecution is an intentional tort that involves illegally filing a lawsuit that has no probable cause. Before and after the case reaches court, it is often dismissed in favor of the defendant, which is the target of the wrongful prosecution. However,...

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What is the Prisoners’ Rights Project in New York?

An advocate for constitutional and human conditions for inmates, the Prisoners’ Rights Project focuses on state prisons as well as New York City jails. Since its founding, the Project has built a record of consistent achievements relative to the treatment and conditions surrounding New York prisoners. About the Project Established in 1971, the Prisoners’ Rights Project works to ensure the safety and human rights of those incarcerated in New York jails and prisons. Some of the current problems the Project advocates address include discrimination issues, mistreatment of disabled and LGBT...

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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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