What Is Constitutional Law?
Middlesex County Attorney Explains Your Rights Under Constitutional Law
The Constitution of the United States, along with other state and federal laws, guarantees you certain individual rights that government entities must respect. You have a freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, as well as a freedom of speech, religion, privacy, assembly, to bear arms and to vote. Unfortunately, government entities do not always uphold these rights. Law enforcement officers may illegally search and seize private property. In other cases, Americans may receive unfair treatment from government entities due to their religion, race or other personal characteristics. However, constitutional law also grants you the right to due process and equal protection, meaning that you can challenge these violations in court. If your constitutional rights were infringed upon by a local, state or federal government entity, then you may have legal options.
Since 1928, the New Jersey constitutional lawyers at Spevack Law Firm have worked to defend the rights of individuals and families. If you experienced a constitutional rights violation, then a Middlesex county attorney at our law firm may be able to help you review available legal options. Our law firm can fight constitutional law violations in New Jersey and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.
What are Common Civil Liberties Violations in New Jersey?
Civil liberties are rights granted by the Constitution that protect you from unwarranted government intrusion. Common examples of civil liberty violations include:
- Unlawful search and seizure. The Fourth Amendment grants you protections against the unlawful search and seizure of your private property. This means law enforcement cannot search your private property without your permission, probable cause or a search warrant. If you are facing criminal charges and your Fourth Amendment rights are violated, then any evidence collected by law enforcement might become inadmissible in court.
- Free speech violations. The First Amendment protects your freedom of speech from government intrusion. For example, public schools cannot suspend or expel students who refuse to salute the American flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Freedom of religion violations. The First Amendment also grants you a liberty of conscience. You are free to exercise your religious beliefs without government intrusion (Free Exercise Clause). In addition, the government cannot favor a specific religion over other beliefs (Establishment Clause). For example, it could be unlawful for public school officials to recite their favorite Biblical prayers before football games.
- Eminent domain violations. Government entities cannot take your private property to convert for public use unless it provides you just compensation.
- Due process and judicial violations. Government entities cannot deny life, liberty or property without due process. For example, you cannot be charged with a crime and then denied access to an attorney or information on the charges.
What Are My Protections Against Civil Rights Violations?
Civil rights laws protect you from discrimination based on your race, gender, national origin, religion, disability and other protected characteristics. Violations of civil rights occur when specific groups of people do not receive equal treatment equally under the law. New Jersey and federal laws that protect your civil rights include:
- The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD). This law prohibits differential treatment because of a person’s race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, gender, marital status, domestic partnership or civil union status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and military service. The LAD offers these protections for employment, housing, public accommodations and credit or business contracts.
- Civil Rights Act of 1964. This federal law prohibits discrimination in public places and makes employment discrimination illegal. For example, if an employer were to treat you differently based on your race, then you could file a lawsuit for damages.
- The New Jersey Civil Rights Act. This law protects your rights under the New Jersey and U.S. Constitutions.
Constitutional Rights Violation? Call a Middlesex County Attorney for a Free Consultation
Our attorneys share a commitment to protecting the civil liberties and rights of New Jersey residents. If a state or federal government entity treated you unfairly or denied your rights, then you may have legal options to recover compensation. Additionally, any criminal charges against you may be reduced or dropped if the court determines your constitutional rights were violated. By filing a lawsuit, you may also prevent others from falling victim to the same constitutional rights violations.
If you or a loved one have questions about constitutional rights violations, then contact us today. Spevack Law Firm offers free consultations that may explain your available legal options. We have offices throughout New Jersey, in Iselin and New Brunswick. For a free consultation with one of our constitutional lawyers, call (732) 636-3030 or contact us online.