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Civil Rights Defense Attorneys in Wilson, North Carolina

Civil rights laws are designed to level the playing field. Regardless of who you are or what you have been accused of, you have certain rights that must be protected. You have a right to be treated equally and without harassment, discrimination, or retribution.

If you believe your civil rights have been violated by law enforcement, employers, institutions, or businesses, or if a loved one has died due to the negligence of someone else, you may have a civil rights case. You always have a right to defend your civil protections under the law, and Lusby & Brooks, P.A. can help.

When people in Wilson and throughout North Carolina, including Wilmington, Fayetteville, Jacksonville, Raleigh, Charlotte, and Greensboro, need their civil rights defended, we will help them using integrity and respect. It is part of the commitment we have to serve.

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Which Laws Protect My Civil Rights?

The laws protecting your civil rights began with the founding of this country. As the need for civil rights to be addressed specifically under state and federal laws has arisen, those protections have been codified.

The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution are called The Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech, the press, religion, peaceful assembly, due process, speedy trials, trials by jury, bearing arms, and freedom from illegal search and seizure and excessive bail.

The 13th Amendment ensures freedom from slavery. The 14th Amendment guarantees equal protection under the laws of the United States and obligates states to ensure every individual’s right to due process.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination under any circumstances based on an individual’s race, color, gender, national origin, or religion.

North Carolina law protects the rights of individuals to seek, gain, and hold employment without discrimination based on age, race, color, national origin, disability, religion, or gender. The state’s Fair Housing Act provides guarantees against discrimination in the sale, renting, and financing of residential property based on race, color, national origin, gender, religion, handicap, disability, or familial status.

What Are Common
Violations of Civil Rights?

Incidences of civil rights violations are unique; however, there are eight general violations that occur with the most frequency.

  1. Excessive use of force is often referred to as police brutality. Some of these incidents garnered national recognition, such as those involving Rodney King, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor. Excessive use of force cases are filed frequently in North Carolina and across the country. These cases share the caveat that the amount of force used was disproportionate to the situation and resulted in physical harm to the victim.

  2. Unreasonable searches and seizures violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects individuals from law enforcement searching their person or property without probable cause, exigent circumstances, or a court-obtained warrant.

  3. Wrongful arrest occurs when law enforcement detains and arrests someone without probable cause, a warrant, or consent by the detained individual.

  4. Due process violations are abuses of power by governmental entities when those entities fail to follow the processes prescribed by law. Violation of due process deprives an individual of their freedom, property, or even their life.

  5. Violation of equal protection occurs when someone in a position of authority discriminates against an individual based on those differences, such as race or gender, which are irrelevant to the law.

  6. First Amendment violations inhibit an individual’s right to freedom of speech, religion, peaceful assembly, and petitioning the government without reprisal.

  7. Employment discrimination violates those protections under North Carolina law which prohibit discrimination in the hiring, firing, and employment of individuals.

  8. Wrongful death violations occur when one party’s negligence or malicious acts result in the death of another party. The perpetrator may face criminal charges for the death of the individual. Regardless, in North Carolina, the personal representative of the decedent’s estate may file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator to recover compensation for the damages caused to the estate and its heirs.

What Are Section 1983 Actions?

Section 1983 of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1871 gives individuals the right to sue the government when someone acting on its behalf and with its authority violates that individual’s civil rights. The person filing the suit bears the burden of proving that their civil rights were violated and the person or persons who violated them were acting in agency and on the authority of a governmental entity.

In the case of George Floyd, for example, the three officers who failed to intervene were sued under Section 1983. They were on duty and employed by the Minneapolis Police Department and as such, had the duty to intervene when a fellow officer was using excessive force in violation of Mr. Floyd’s civil rights. Because they were in the active employ of the Minneapolis Police Department and the City of Minneapolis, these two governmental bodies could be sued under Section 1983.  

Civil Rights Defense Attorneys Serving North Carolina

No one is exempt from complying with civil rights laws, and every individual is entitled to the protections under those laws. If you believe your civil rights have been violated, work with a civil rights defense attorney to pursue a case. At Lusby & Brooks, P.A., we vehemently defend individuals when their civil rights have been violated. Call our Wilson, North Carolina, office today to schedule a time to talk about your case.