New York Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Lawyers

Civil Rights

The problem with mental illness and incarceration

While criminal behavior lacks justification in many people's eyes, mental illness plays a critical role in many crimes in New York. Perpetrators who suffer from ongoing mental trauma and subsequent illness often lack access to needed resources to provide support and healing. Once incarcerated, the issues for mentally ill inmates may only worsen and create a larger problem. Regardless of their prison sentence, inmates have the right to receive help in managing their illness. Dangers of mental illness People suffering from mental illness while incarcerated pose a significant threat to...

read more

Addressing civil rights violations in prisons

New York City and state prisons have been the subject of significant accusations regarding civil rights violations. While they are serving time as a penalty for criminal actions, prisoners deserve human dignity and respect. These are some of the key initiatives of the Prisoners' Rights Project, a nonprofit advocate of humane prison conditions in New York and worldwide. Access to medical care Prisoners have the right to comprehensive mental and physical health care. New state laws passed in recent years ensure that incarcerated individuals who have HIV will receive the care they need to...

read more

Disrespecting police may lead to an unlawful arrest

Whether you are attending a rally or simply running errands, you may encounter a member of law enforcement. While being polite may help you avoid a conflict, you have no general legal obligation to respect the police. Still, disrespectful behavior may lead to an unlawful arrest. If you believe an officer has arrested you for simply not being respectful enough, you may have a valid civil rights claim for this type of police misconduct. How respect-related arrests happen Regrettably, there are many new reports about officers making up facts to support arrests. These reports indicate that...

read more

Racial profiling at stores is common, but can be illegal

Many New Yorkers who are black have probably experienced poor treatment at area retail stores because of stereotypes about their race. While many notorious cases of racial profiling have happened at New York’s priciest stores, it is common at the neighborhood grocery stores, well-known big box stores and other retail establishments. Among black Americans in New York City with middle class incomes, 4 out of 5 of those asked said that they felt stereotyped in some way while they were out shopping. Close to 60% said that they felt like store employees treated them as potential shoplifters by,...

read more

Can law enforcement officers search your car without a warrant?

When you come in contact with law enforcement, you maintain certain rights in many situations. Understanding exactly what rights you have in specific places may help you avoid an unnecessarily stressful or harrowing situation. When authorities pull you over in your car, for example, your rights differ to some degree than those you have when they come to your door or stop you at a party or public event. You may be under the impression that a law enforcement official may not search your vehicle unless he or she has a warrant, but is this true? Understanding “probable cause” While authorities...

read more

New Supreme Court case explores a frontier of police brutality law

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides the people with some of the most important protections against police misconduct. Among other things, it prohibits unreasonable search and seizure. While courts have long disagreed about what counts as "unreasonable" behavior on the part of the police, it is well established that police brutality during an arrest can be a violation of a person's Fourth Amendment rights. But what if the person is not arrested? Is police brutality still a violation of that person's Fourth Amendment rights? A case headed to the U.S. Supreme Court could...

read more

Chief judge orders racial inequality probe of union leader

The national turmoil sparked by the apparently racist killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers has resulted in a number of inquiries into alleged racism by municipal and police department officials across the country. One such inquiry has erupted inside the New York state court system. An e-mail to Chief Judge Janet DiFiore has caused the Judge to order an investigation into alleged “racial inequality and brutality” against black court officers. According to a report in the New York Post, Judge DiFiore received an e-mail signed by three black police officers accusing James...

read more

New York State Repeals Civil Rights Law 50-a

On June 9, 2020, New York State lawmakers moved history forward by voting to repeal Sec. 50-a of the New York Civil Rights law, a state law that enabled police departments to withhold officers’ disciplinary records from public view. The vote came in response to the horrific death of George Floyd, a nationwide movement for police reform and accountability, and the general sentiment that systemic change is necessary to redress a systemic problem – namely, the violence perpetrated against minority communities and people of color. The repeal of 50-a was among numerous other calls for change as...

read more

Were your rights violated? Don’t let it happen again, fight back

There are many civil rights that people have including: The right to vote The right to a public education The right to have an attorney represent you The right to use governmental services The right to an unbiased and fair trial And many others Of all the civil rights, the most common civil rights cases arise from situations that include: Housing discrimination Government discrimination Employment discrimination Of these, one that you may be most concerned about is discrimination through the government, or, put more casually, being discriminated against by the police. False arrests, false...

read more

Police Misconduct Threatens Individuals’ Civil Rights

Encounters with law enforcement officials can be intimidating, no matter the circumstances. When New Yorkers are faced with explaining themselves to badged and often armed officers, they may feel threatened or even scared of what may happen if the officers’ suspicions are raised. When police encounters turn aggressive, individuals’ civil rights may be threatened. That is because in New York and states throughout the nation police brutality and misconduct can run unchecked by local and state governments. The bad actions of some law enforcement officials can jeopardize freedoms and even the...

read more

Archives