Civil and Constitutional Rights Violations Attorney

Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts

Civil rights have been a hotly debated issue since the founding of the United States. Even after many years of civil rights reform, problems and violations still arise.

You should hire a civil rights attorney if you believe your rights have been violated by the government or even by other people. Many civil rights issues are based on discrimination, and race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and other attributes are often at the center. A person’s civil rights might be implicated in criminal and civil situations. Common civil rights cases involve rights and legal guarantees being violated by the government or private individuals. Freedom of speech, religion, and association are frequent topics of debate in the civil rights field. The job of a civil rights attorney is to determine whether a violation has occurred and what is the best way to remedy the situation.

Contact a lawyer immediately if you believe you have faced discrimination or some other violation of your civil rights. Our civil and constitutional rights violations lawyers can help you get justice. For a free case review, call The Law Office of Andrew Shubin at (814) 826-3586.

Should You Hire a Civil Rights Violations Attorney?

Our work in cases involving the protection of civil liberties includes:

  • Challenging same-sex benefit discrimination and obtaining employee health care benefits for same-sex partners.
  • Successful defense of a Penn State graduate student activist on First Amendment grounds against criminal and university disciplinary charges.
  • Secured financial settlement in federal civil rights action for a student hazed by an athletic coach.

If you have been denied service or the right to express your ideas on campus or found your privacy breached, the Law Firm of Andrew Shubin Law can work with you.  Attorney Andrew Shubin will fight to redress the constitutional rights you have denied. Call (814) 826-3586 for more information or to schedule a free consultation.

Common Misconceptions About Constitutional Law

Criminal Cases

The most common misconception in civil rights violations of criminal defendants is that law enforcement officials are trained and will protect your constitutional rights. Attorney Andrew Shubin has seen first-hand that this is not always the case. He has worked tirelessly with people who have been denied critical information about their cases and many who have been subjected to unconstitutional practices that can range from prosecutorial misconduct to illegal searches and seizures. He has worked with criminal defendants who have been denied access to basic services such as the provision of access to language translation throughout criminal proceedings. Andrew Shubin will stand up and defend your rights against these abuses.

Civil Cases

A common misconception is that constitutional rights violations in civil cases can only be defended when a person works for a high-profile employer or institution. Constitutional violations can occur regardless of the size of the business or educational institution. In 2018, the US Supreme Court issued decisions on cases related to a baker, labor unions, cell phone companies, internet retailers, a political party, an athletic association, and others.

Another misconception is that constitutional violations don’t happen anymore. The recent decision of Obergefell v. Hodges allowing same-sex marriages is an important milestone for same-sex couples, stating, “Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions.”

More recent decisions continue to demonstrate that much work is needed to redress constitutional violations. In Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the US Supreme Court reaffirmed that business owners cannot deny equal access to goods and services. In that case, a small cake shop owner invoked religious freedom as a justification to discriminate.

Attorney Andrew Shubin has successfully represented parties who have been discriminated against in the workplace and denied health care benefits.  He is compassionate and will help you fight for a just result.

What Are Common Civil Rights Violations?

There are two distinct areas of civil rights violations. One area is when civil liberties such as Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Association are denied. The other is when Constitutional Guarantees are denied, such as when a person is charged with a crime. Andrew Shubin is well-versed and an effective advocate in civil and criminal matters.

Civil rights are essentially human rights protected by our laws. Undignified and unjust acts should never be tolerated under any circumstances. Slavery, segregation, and other social panaceas were prohibited after ordinary citizens challenged social norms and sought protection under the Constitution’s established rights.

While this may seem straightforward, it can be very confusing because civil rights violations are not expressly defined under the Constitution. The Constitution has been modified by amendments and interpreted differently through tried cases – new and complex challenges to existing case law have recently been tried at the Supreme Court. Criminal or civil violations continuously raise new questions about civil rights. The amendments approved by Congress and incorporated into the Constitution are undeniable human rights established in the Bill of Rights.

What Are Constitutional Guarantees?

The United States Constitution spells out numerous legal and procedural guarantees. These guarantees are promised to all citizens and often arise when people are confronted with the justice system. In a way, these are similar to constitutional rights, and many things guaranteed within the Constitution overlap with the Bill of Rights. If you believe you have been denied a substantive or procedural guarantee in the Constitution, call our civil and constitutional rights violations lawyers for help immediately.

One such guarantee is the right to a fair trial. The justice system, both civil and criminal, is built upon the fairness and legitimacy of the trial process. All people charged with a crime are entitled to a fair trial or hearing. While defendants may waive their right to a trial if they wish under certain circumstances, the government cannot decide to impose punishment or penalties without some sort of hearing.

On top of that, criminal defendants are guaranteed speedy trials. While the Constitution is less than clear about just how fast a speedy trial is, the overall message is that the government cannot drag its feet when conducting criminal trials. Criminal defendants must not be made to wait in jail for too long before their trial is conducted. Exactly how long defendants can wait varies a bit from state to state, but you should contact an attorney if you believe you have been waiting for too long.

Due process of law is another constitutional guarantee that holds the government accountable to the people. Due process is a broad legal concept that essentially means the government must operate within the law, and all people are entitled to full and fair procedure when confronted with the justice system. Due process violations might come up anywhere. If a hearing is cut short or ignored, the defendant has been deprived of due process.

Historic Examples of Civil Rights Violations

Throughout the history of the United States, civil rights have grown, changed, and evolved. The justice system is notoriously slow to catch up with changing norms and values of the people, and civil rights issues are no exception. There have been many very famous civil rights cases throughout history that have changed the legal landscape of our country.

Many famous civil rights cases have revolved around race. For example, the Supreme Court decided the case of Shelley v. Kraemer in 1948. That case involved restrictive covenants in private housing agreements that prevented the sale of homes in white neighborhoods to black home buyers. The Court determined that such a covenant violated the Fourteenth Amendment, specifically the guarantee of equal protection under the law.

Ten years later, in 1958, the Court decided the case of Loving v. Virginia. In that case, an interracial couple was denied the right to marry based on their race, as it was illegal for a black person to marry a white person at that time. The Court decided this violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. This case was important because it expanded upon equal protection rights.

Perhaps one of the most famous civil rights cases was Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. This case revolved around education and how the public school system was segregated, and white and black students could not attend school together. The Court decided that the system of segregation in education violated the equal protection clause.

Important Constitutional Amendments That Impacted Civil Rights

Civil rights are deeply entrenched in the Constitution. The Constitution is the backbone of our legal system and often serves as the final word of law. Over time, amendments have been added to the Constitution to carve out and expand civil rights.

For example, the Thirteenth Amendment, one of the earliest amendments after the Bill of Rights, abolished slavery in the United States. While formerly enslaved people were freed, they were denied many, if not most civil rights. Later, the Fifteenth Amendment was passed to prevent states from denying a person the right to vote based on race. This allowed formerly enslaved people and their descendants to vote, although women were still excluded. The Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 finally gave women the right to vote.

Legal Rights Protected Under the U.S. Constitution

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits governmental institutions from making laws that can impact or constrain the free exercise of religion, free speech, freedom to associate, commonly known as the right to assemble, or the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. The Fourteenth Amendment requires states to honor and protect the constitutional rights guaranteed under the US Constitution.

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech is a fundamental American freedom and a human right where the freedom to share ideas is a valued right. Freedom of speech can be threatened when politics, comfort, or biased attitudes result in violations of freedom of speech.

Attorney Andrew Shubin is known for standing up against universities that file charges against student activists on campus.  He has developed a reputation in this area because he’s a fierce and effective advocate against oppressive school administrators.

Religious Liberty

Religious Liberty is the right to follow the faith of your choice. Religious liberty is the first freedom guaranteed to Americans by the Bill of Rights. You should seek legal assistance if you feel your right to associate based on religious beliefs and even the right to express these beliefs is under attack. Often, people are told their religious rights are respected but then find themselves subject to intolerance and “hate speech.” Andrew Shubin’s law practice is committed to defending religious pluralism and will fight to protect the right to associate and express religious faith.

Right of Privacy

Right of Privacy imposes a limitation on intrusion upon your privacy. Violations of this right have been found regarding intimately personal matters such as sexual relations, child-rearing, and marriage, known as “zones of privacy.” These constitutional “zones of privacy” can extend to various aspects of personal life. As the Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas states, “it is a promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.”

Freedom to Associate

Freedom to Associate involves the right to peacefully come together with others and work for the common good or interest. Andrew Shubin has represented victims of unlawful arrest due to their activism on campus.

What Does a Civil Rights Violations Attorney Do?

A civil rights violations attorney helps people whose legal rights have been trampled and violated by the government. Unfortunately, not everyone is fully aware of all their rights or just how far these rights extend. Our civil rights violations attorneys can help people the government has hurt get justice under the law.

One way civil rights attorneys can help people is by determining whether their rights have been violated. Not all civil rights violations appear to be significant at first glance. For example, if the police neglect to read your Miranda rights during the custodial interrogation process, you might not even realize it. However, failing to inform a criminal defendant of their Miranda rights (i.e., your right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present) has been deemed a massive civil rights violation, and any incriminating information given to the police may be suppressed and excluded from the trial.

A civil rights violations lawyer also helps people stand up to the government and find the most effective ways to plead their case. Part of what makes civil rights cases so challenging is that we are trying to convince the government they are wrong in how they enforce the law. Convincing the government that laws need to change or government agencies need to be held accountable is difficult and requires strong evidence and highly developed legal skills.

Options for Remedying a Civil Rights Violation

How our legal team handles your civil rights case depends on the nature of the violation of your civil rights. In some cases, the violation goes against settled law, and a settlement might be the best way to go. Other times, the law itself is wrong, and we can take steps to get the courts and lawmakers to change it. Our civil rights violations attorneys can help you begin the legal process to remedy the harm you have experienced.

Settling for a Civil Rights Violation

Some civil rights violations occur because of mistakes made by law enforcement. Civil rights violations may be handled much like any other civil lawsuit. We can work to hold the wrongdoer civilly liable in court and make them pay for your damages. The extent of your damages depends on the severity and nature of your civil rights violation. The courts take civil rights issues especially seriously, and damages are often very high.

Filing a Lawsuit for a Civil Rights Violation

Settlements are not always possible, or a lawsuit might be necessary to push the government toward reform. Our civil rights violations attorneys can help you file a lawsuit and articulate your civil rights violation in a complaint to the court. Civil rights cases are known for being very intense and very long. However, a victory might not only mean your problems are remedied, but it might mean other people will not be harmed in the future.

Our Civil Rights Violations Lawyers Can Help

If you know someone who has been a victim of civil rights violations, the Constitutional Law practice of Attorney Andrew Shubin can work with you and help you fight and defend your rights. Call (814) 826-3586 for more information or to schedule a free and confidential consultation.


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