Civil Rights Lawsuits
Results are what you expect when you hire an attorney. Results are a complete or partial victory, results are your freedom, family, money, or whatever justice dictates. We get results for our clients. Our verdicts, settlements and victories on behalf of our clients are not mere unsubstantiated words but proven facts. We get results because we work tirelessly, investigate thoroughly and research extensively. We meet with our clients endlessly until we know your case inside and out. We get results because we are experienced, we are well known in the legal community and we know how to get your case successfully resolved.
False Confessions, Coerced confessions, involuntary confessions or false confessions are most often the result of psychological intimidation by police. Our office has significant experience with false confession cases. We represented an individual, Nafis Pinkney, in a double murder case. He confessed to participating in the murder of his best friend and his best friend’s girlfriend. The only significant piece of evidence was his confession. It was a capital case. He spent four years in jail awaiting trial. At trial he was acquitted of all charges. We filed a lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia for malicious prosecution. While the lawsuit was pending another person confessed to the killings and to another single murder that occured a week before. The ballistics matched and he was familiar with details of the double murder. The City settled the civil case shortly thereafter.
Coerced confessions, involuntary confessions or false confessions are also a violation of your Fifth Amendment civil rights. Coerced Confessions, involuntary confessions or false confessions can also form the basis as a civil rights lawsuit against the police officers and police department that coerced the confession. No police officer, detective, or FBI Agent has the right to intimidate you into confessing to a crime. Once you have expressed your desire to receive legal counsel, or asked to have questioning cease, the law enforcement officers in charge should respect your wishes and work to ensure that your legal rights and civil rights are preserved. Our team will examine the record and conduct a full investigation to determine if your confession was coerced and if you have a legal remedy against the officers for the civil rights violation and police misconduct. If you were forced to confess to a crime you did not commit you may be entitled to civil damages and compensation.
The reasons that people falsely confess are complex and varied, but what they tend to have in common is a belief that complying with the police by saying that they committed the crime in question will be more beneficial than continuing to maintain their innocence.
The factors that can contribute to a false confession during a police interrogation include: duress, coercion, intoxication, diminished capacity, mental impairment, ignorance of the law, fear of violence, the actual infliction of harm, the threat of a harsh sentence, and misunderstanding the situation.
Confessions obtained from juveniles are often unreliable — children can be easy to manipulate and are not always fully aware of their situation.
People with mental disabilities have falsely confessed because they are tempted to accommodate and agree with authority figures. Further, many law enforcement interrogators are not given any special training on questioning suspects with mental disabilities. An impaired mental state due to mental illness, drugs or alcohol may also contribute to false admissions of guilt.
Mentally capable adults also give false confessions due to a variety of factors like the length of interrogation, exhaustion or a belief that they can be released after confessing and prove their innocence later.
Your Constitutional rights do not vanish upon arrest or conviction. In fact, constitutional protections should be at their strongest at such times. A variety of civil rights statutes and related laws also specifically protect the rights of people who are placed under arrest and those who are in prison. If you were subject to excessive force or other forms of police brutality, you may be able to seek compensation in a lawsuit.
Police are allowed to use force when making an arrest, but that force must be reasonable. When an officer’s conduct crosses the line of reasonableness, that is called excessive force. The person being arrested can be injured as a result. Victims of police brutality, including those who have suffered non life-threatening injuries, can file civil rights lawsuits. The vast majority of excessive force and police brutality lawsuits involve some degree of physical injury, but it is possible in some circumstances to make a claim involving emotional or psychological damage alone.
Our office represented two individuals that were in a car stopped by police. The police shot and killed the driver and shot and injured the front seat passenger. The men in the car were unarmed. The police force was excessive and the City settled the case for almost $3 million.
Sometimes a police officer will bring criminal proceedings against a suspect even though the police officer lacks probable cause that the suspect committed the crime. The police officer “goes after” the suspect for some reason that is not legally justified. When law enforcement deprives someone of their right to liberty, it can constitute a violation of the individual’s Fourteenth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution. Victims of malicious prosecution by law enforcement can seek damages for the abuses that they have suffered. Malicious prosecution by law enforcement occurs when:
- The police officer commenced a criminal proceeding against the victim;
- The proceeding concluded in the victim’s favor;
- The was no probable cause for the police officer to bring the charges in the first place; and
- The officer brought the criminal proceeding against the victim to be malicious.
Victims who have had their charges dismissed can bring an action for malicious
prosecution against the law enforcement officer who unjustly and maliciously pursued the criminal charges against the victim. Victims may be entitled to damages for their lost time and any harm that they have suffered as a result of the malicious prosecution.
Our office represented individuals that were arrested for malicious prosecution. We have recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf persons maliciously prosecuted.
Evidence is essential for police to make an arrest. Because of the power that evidence has in a trial, corrupt government officials and law enforcement may fabricate evidence to bring about a desired conviction.
Under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, every American citizen is guaranteed the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. As such, taking away a person’s rights of due process (14th Amendment) and unreasonable seizure (via fabricated evidence) is a federal crime.
Prison Assaults, Mistreatment or Suicide
Your Constitutional rights do not vanish when you are imprisoned or incarcerated. We have represented hundreds of cases in which individuals and inmates are victims of prison assaults. We will get you the justice that you deserve. We are very familiar with how prisons operate and how prisons investigate. As a result we get to the truth. No one has the right to mistreat another human being and no one deserves to be mistreated.
Inmates are often assaulted by other inmates. However, sometimes inmates are assaulted by corrections officers, guards and prison staff. Juveniles, elderly and special needs individuals are often to most susceptible and vulnerable to prison assaults. Prisons can be liable for inmate on inmate assaults. Prisons and municipalities are almost always liable for assaults committed by employees and staff.
Inadequate Medical Treatment in Prison
When an inmate receives inadequate medical care while incarcerated, resulting in a serious injury, you may have a civil rights claim. We help victims of negligent medical care in prison or jail file lawsuits when medical care or treatment is intentionally delayed or withheld, or when health care providers, guards or other authority figures interfere with treatment.
Prison or jail officials and police departments can only be held liable when it can be proven that “deliberate indifference” was involved. This is the intentional failure to provide medical care for a serious injury or illness.
Suicide in Prison
When someone commits suicide while incarcerated or while in police custody, in a holding cell at a police station, or in a police vehicle, it is important to investigate whether the inmate received proper care and supervision. There are many clues that a person is suicidal, and police departments and correctional facilities may overlook these signs. Too often health care providers, police officers and guards fail to provide inmates who have suicidal ideations with the support they require.
What Clients Say
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D. Pennington – 10/19 Not Guilty – Attempted Murder D. Pennington - 10/19 Not Guilty - Attempted Murder
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Anonymous – 5/17 Case Dismissed – Robbery Motor Vehicle (Carjacking) Anonymous - 5/17 Case Dismissed - Robbery Motor Vehicle (Carjacking)
“Mr. Pagano won my double murder case and then got me $750,000.00.”
Nafis Pinkney – 2/18 Not Guilty – Murder Case. Nafis Pinkney - 2/18 Not Guilty - Murder Case.
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John P. – 3/18 Case Dismissed – Discharge of Firearm at Police. John P. - 3/18 Case Dismissed - Discharge of Firearm at Police.
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YE – 11/18 NOT GUILTY – Murder Case YE - 11/18 NOT GUILTY - Murder Case
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Lisa M. – 12/18 Case Dismissed – Drugs and Guns Lisa M. - 12/18 Case Dismissed - Drugs and Guns
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AT – 12/18 Case Dismissed. Aggravated Assault on Police. AT - 12/18 Case Dismissed. Aggravated Assault on Police.
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