Oppenheimer Firm

Chicago’s Nationally Recognized Civil Rights And Criminal Defense Firm

Frequently Asked Questions About Civil Rights Violations

When someone violates your civil rights or accuses you of violating theirs, it can be overwhelming, and you need answers. Our legal counsel at The Oppenheimer Firm can ensure you get the answers you need. Below, we answer some of the common questions we hear from clients.

What Are My Civil Rights?

These rights protect you from unfair treatment, ensuring you receive representation and are not unfairly treated due to your race, gender, a disability and other factors. They prevent someone from discriminating against you.

How Do I Know If My Civil Rights Were Violated?

Your civil rights could have been violated and you might not even realize it. You have a variety of rights. You are legally allowed to an attorney after an arrest and equal access to:

  • Health care
  • A fair trial
  • Free speech
  • Government services
  • Public education
  • Public facilities
  • Vote

You are also protected against:

  • False imprisonment
  • Losing a government job because you expressed an opinion
  • Police brutality
  • Unjustified arrests
  • Unlawful search and seizures

I Was Illegally Stopped And Arrested. What Can I Do?

Law enforcement must have a reason to stop you. If you were falsely arrested, you might be able to file charges of malicious prosecution.

What Type Of Compensation Can I Expect?

There are two types of compensation. You could receive money for the violation or injunctive relief, which means the violator must stop violating your rights.

Can My Compensation Include Attorney’s Fees?

Yes, attorneys’ fees are commonly awarded.

What Should I Do If My Civil Rights Were Violated?

First, document the situation. You will need:

  • Names of people involved (victim, perpetrator and witnesses)
  • Event description
  • Description of Injuries/physical damage/violation.

What Are My Options?

You can resolve the issues in several ways. You could try to resolve it through informal negotiations; file a claim with the government at the state or federal level; or file a private lawsuit.

Should I Contact An Attorney?

Civil rights issues, and the ways to deal with them, can be complicated. You will have to determine if your rights were violated and the laws that apply to your situation. Then you are likely to have to file a government claim or a lawsuit. An experienced civil rights attorney can guide you through the process and help you determine your legal options. We are available to discuss your case. Call 312-757-2232 or email us.