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State and Federal Constitutional Violations

Montgomery Attorney Represents Victims of State and Federal Constitutional Violations

Passionate lawyer seeks all available remedies to unlawful government conduct

The U.S. Constitution outlines the powers of the federal government, but the Bill of Rights limits that power by listing specific restrictions and prohibitions. Importantly, those protections are also enforced against state governments. Therefore, when either state or federal authorities violate a citizen’s protected rights, the targeted citizen has a right to sue for a remedy. At McGuire & Associates, we aggressively challenge unlawful conduct under the color of authority, such as police brutality, illegal searches, illegal arrests and detentions, voting rights violations, excessive bail, and excessive criminal punishments. If you have been the victim of unconstitutional conduct, you may be entitled to injunctive relief and monetary damages. You can trust McGuire & Associates to pursue every available remedy on your behalf.

Understanding your basic rights under the Constitution

The Constitution guarantees us the right to be citizens, not subjects. But for this principle to exist as fact, the people must have basic protections. Important rights under the Constitution can be found in its many amendments:

  • First Amendment — Rights under the First Amendment include the freedom of speech and freedom of the press and the freedom to peaceably assemble. This amendment also protects our right to practice religion and to be free from any government establishment of religion.
  • Second Amendment — Even though this amendment states the right to bear arms shall not be infringed, the right is not absolute, and state laws place numerous restrictions on gun ownership.
  • Fourth Amendment — This amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure, and requires probable cause for a warrant.
  • Fifth Amendment — The Fifth Amendment requires a grand jury indictment before prosecution can begin for an “infamous” crime, prohibits the government from trying an individual twice for the same crime, protects persons from coercion and compulsion used to force a confession, and provides a general right of due process. The amendment also protects private property by requiring the government to pay fair value for any property it takes for public use.
  • Sixth Amendment — This amendment guarantees an accused person the right to a speedy and public trial by a jury of peers. The defendant has the right to know the charges, to examine evidence, to confront witnesses, and to compel witnesses to testify. This amendment also guarantees the right to legal counsel, even if the defendant cannot afford to pay a lawyer.
  • Eighth Amendment — The Eighth Amendment prohibits the government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, and “cruel and unusual” punishment.
  • Fifteenth Amendment — Passed during the period of Reconstruction, this amendment prohibits the government from denying the right to vote on the basis of race.

Remedies available for constitutional rights violations

Fighting a government agency in court is a daunting task. But McGuire & Associates knows that the quickest way to lose our constitutional rights is to stop asserting them. That’s why you can trust us to aggressively seek full equitable relief and monetary compensation for the cases we undertake. If you have had your civil rights violated, available remedies include:

  • Injunctive relief — This is a court order forbidding the government entity from engaging in illegal conduct. This is important in cases where the practice is ingrained in the agency’s culture and likely to recur.
  • Nominal damages — A court can award symbolic compensation without requiring the plaintiff to prove actual damages.
  • Compensatory damages — If the victim of the illegal behavior suffered losses, such as property damage during a search or lost earnings due to unlawful police detention, the victim can recover the amount lost. If the victim was injured due to police brutality, for example, the victim can recover the costs of medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and other personal injury damages.
  • Punitive damages — When the illegal behavior is particularly egregious, the court can require the defendant to pay additional sums to the victim as a punishment and deterrent to future illegal behavior.

Many civil rights attorneys are content to pursue injunctive relief only. That’s because their clients tend to be poor, so compensation for lost wages or property damage are generally low. But at McGuire & Associates, we are passionate about justice and committed to pursuing every available remedy for the injustice you’ve suffered.

Contact our Montgomery law firm to aggressively assert your constitutional rights

McGuire & Associates helps our clients pursue remedies for constitutional rights violations in Montgomery and throughout Alabama. To schedule a free consultation with a determined civil rights lawyer, call us at 334-651-8891 or contact our Montgomery office online. Our office is located at 31 Clayton Street, convenient to I-85 and I-65.

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