If you are charged with a crime and feel your civil rights have been infringed upon in any way by the government or any organization, you might need a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to represent you.
It is essential that no matter the circumstance your rights to be treated fairly and justly, and innocent until proven guilty are at the forefront of your case. Knowing all of the options available to you in terms of liberty, equal protection, and the rule of law are key to proper defense.
If you need a criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia, it can be confusing not knowing pertinent questions to ask your lawyer about your civil rights and key factors in your case.
The legal system can be confusing and overwhelming, so you must be prepared. Read on to find out precisely the right questions to ask your lawyer.
What is the Definition of Civil Rights?
Our civil rights are an expansive set of rules and laws that protect individuals from experiencing unfair treatment or discrimination from an institution or governmental facet in the United States (and, in a more limited capacity, abroad).
Civil rights have been legislated for decades to ensure equality and fairness for all citizens. But just because they've been around for a long time doesn't mean they are perfect. Even though legislation and laws have been around for years and years in one form or another, civil rights are still infringed upon to this day.
The reality of civil rights is that they continue to expand as with other aspects of the law. For instance, your civil rights as a BAME citizen or an LGBTQ+ citizen are much stronger today than in the past. But many would argue these rights still need updating and improving for the fairness of all American citizens.
Issues such as employment, housing, public accommodations, and education are associated with examples of unjust treatment and a denial of fundamental civil rights.
Is There a Difference Between Civil Rights and Civil Liberties?
Yes. Generally speaking, civil rights speak to the fundamental basic human rights that a person should have.
People should be free from discrimination of any kind, regardless of their gender, race, and disability. These traits are known as protected. They must not be taken into consideration or against a person negatively to allow unequal treatment.
Civil liberties are the freedoms guaranteed to citizens on a federal level by the Constitution. For example, the right to vote, the right to privacy, or the right to free speech.
What Are Some Typical Examples of Civil Right Violations?
There are many kinds of civil rights violations in America that need to be addressed and held accountable.
Some common ones include police brutality, unlawful searches, and housing discrimination, being fired, or overlooked for promotion due to gender discrimination and cruel and unusual punishment.
If you feel that the violation of your civil rights falls under these categories or any others that you aren't sure about, then you must consult with a lawyer or criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
What is the Current Legislation in Philadelphia on Civil Rights?
States can also pass specific laws concerning civil rights that are often more protective than some federal ones. Speak with your lawyer about the current legislation in your area as it may differ from different cities and countries.
Your lawyer will be knowledgeable and up to date with the latest laws and legislation to help support and add to the strength of your case. They can advise you on all the options available and which best route to go down.
Have You Dealt With a Case Like Mine Before?
This is an important question to ask your lawyer when thinking about representation and the strength of your defense.
An experienced lawyer will have dealt with plenty of cases like yours in their time practicing law. They will be able to use that experience to navigate the court case in the most favorable option for you and your case.
What is Your Success Rate with Civil Rights Cases?
This is also a very important question. Just because a lawyer has practiced cases like these multiple times doesn't mean that the outcome has been successful.
Asking your lawyer their success rate will certainly give you an indication of what your case might result in.
A lawyer with a fantastic track record isn't a guarantee. But it will give you confidence that you are in safe hands and that they are knowledgeable and successful in the overall process.
Are There Other Options Than Going to Trial?
Trials can be exhausting and a draining process for all the parties concerned. This is especially prominent in the case of civil rights violations. You might not want to be anywhere near the people who have violated your rights.
In a courtroom setting that could take weeks or even months, this might be too emotionally detrimental to yourself and your recovery.
This is why it is worth asking your lawyer if there are any other options available to save the expense and time of going through the courts.
Perhaps mediation or a settlement might be the best option for everyone involved in the case. Not all civil rights cases need to result in a trial, explore the possibilities and outcomes with your lawyer, and work out the best route for you.
How is it Best For Us to Communicate?
In civil rights cases, you may need to gather evidence such as witness statements, medical documents, and expert witnesses. This will all need to be looked over and talked through with your criminal defense lawyer.
Work out how best it is for you both to communicate, whether it is over the phone, email, or in person. This way, everyone is on the same page and has the same expectations from the get-go.
Criminal Defense in Philadelphia: Where Can I Find Out More?
We hope you have found this article on civil rights and criminal defense in Philadelphia helpful and informative.
It is important to know your rights where possible and in certain situations, but this is a complex thing to manage. You should try to understand the key rights that relate to you and safeguard them wherever possible.
It is unbelievable that these incidents continue to happen. We know many people have trouble understanding their rights and we are here to help you with getting the best representation and support you need.
If you have any further questions or feel like you might be in need of legal representation, why not contact our office directly to get the ball rolling?