Strom Law Firm Columbia SC
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How Are Civil Rights Violated?

As a leading South Carolina civil rights attorney, Strom Law often consults with clients who are unsure whether an incident constitutes a violation of their civil rights, and whether they have legal recourse to take action against the perpetrator.

The complexity of civil rights cases is that the offender may be in a position of power, such as a medical professional or law enforcement officer. You may also need to evaluate whether the civil rights violation statute of limitations applies if a possible offense occurred some time ago.

However, our skilled lawyers can provide independent guidance to ensure you understand the options and can confidently identify whether your civil rights have indeed been breached.

Assessing Whether Your Civil Rights Have Been Violated

All American citizens and residents have civil rights protection under federal law, from equal treatment to freedom of movement, safety from violence, unwarranted detention, abuse, and the right to legal advice. Civil rights are comprehensive and include varied acts and statutes, that mean a threat, force, or denial of basic rights is an offense when this action has been based on bias, discrimination, or unequal treatment, due to your:

  • Ethnicity, race, or skin color
  • Age, gender, or sexual orientation
  • Disability, language, or appearance

Common examples, sadly, include excessive use of police force, unlawful shootings, denial of medical care, or refusal to provide school admission for a child, where perpetrators act in contradiction to the constitutional statutes that protect citizens from this treatment. However, civil rights breaches take many forms. They can relate to circumstances where a capable attorney needs to assess the case to help ascertain whether it is a breach of your rights, or uncover evidence that proves discrimination played a part.

Non-Violent Civil Rights Violations

Although severe incidents such as an injury suffered in custody, unjustified arrest, and the use of unwarranted violence against an individual are widely known to be civil rights offenses, assuming that only physical incidents comprise a civil rights transgression is a misconception.

Your civil rights are enshrined in law. While some aspects, such as statutes of limitations, rely on differing state rules, you may have a robust case regardless of whether the breach of your rights involved violence, damage to property, or other harm.

For instance, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) states that everyone is protected from housing discrimination, and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) forbids discrimination in employment, public transport, and government services.

If you suspect you may have been a victim of a civil rights infringement, the best starting point is to consult a seasoned lawyer who can discuss the incident with sensitivity and confidentiality to establish the facts. The soundest way forward will depend on your wishes, the date (or dates) of the occurrence, and the nature of the incident, but may include litigation, compensation claims, and other proceedings to secure justice and a fair outcome.

Are Civil Rights Violations Criminal or Civil?

A violation of civil rights law may give rise to either civil or criminal proceedings or both, depending on the severity and long-lasting impacts of the offense. Other civil rights breaches, such as hate crimes, police violence, or sexual assault, may be both prosecutable crimes and civil rights infractions.

While the scope of the law is broad, it is imperative to follow the correct process to establish the appropriate actions and pursue a suitable lawsuit or prosecution. In some cases, a civil rights breach might be pursued by federal prosecutors, lawyers representing a civil case on behalf of the claimant, and investigators acting on behalf of official organizations, public sector bodies, or regulators.

It may also be feasible to pursue action even where another aspect of the investigation or prosecution has concluded, such as where a perpetrator has been removed from their position but has not been charged or subject to a damages  lawsuit.

Professional Civil Rights Legal Support

Strom Law works with an array of clients seeking competent advice and representation at every stage of a civil rights case, from determining the facts and gathering evidence to instigating formal legal action. Our accomplished attorneys advocate for your rights to the full extent of the law, backed by the federal constitution that provides sweeping protections for all US citizens and people of other nationalities living within our borders.




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