Legal Updates

Rights of an American Citizen

American FlagAs an American citizen, you have certain inalienable rights.

These rights cannot be trammeled by State or Federal Government.  If these rights are infringed, there is a price to be paid.  The way to make the government pay is through a Civil Rights claim.  Here are some common questions about such claims.

1. Is There a Basis For The Claim?

This is not always an easy question.  Speak with a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney who specializes in police misconduct to assess the strength of your case.  One critical issue is going to be whether you suffered damages or some monetary loss as a result of the trammeling of your constitutional liberties.

2. Should I Sort This Out With Internal Affairs?

The first step you should take is to speak with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney.  Then, if your attorney considers this contact appropriate, she will take the appropriate course of action.

3. What Is The Standard of Proof?

In criminal cases, the State has the burden of convicting the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil cases, the plaintiff must prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence.  A preponderance is 51% or more likely than not.  You can reach a preponderance by taking advantage of physical evidence like video, witnesses, and pictures of the incident.  You may want to consider a private investigator to gather evidence.

4. What is The Value of my Case?

This is a question that cannot be answered via internet blog.  Very few cases are worth high dollar amounts. Discussion and legal analysis needs to take place before a number can be put on your case.  Speak with a Philadelphia criminal or civil rights lawyer to get an idea of your cases’ relative value.


5. Should I Face The Criminal Charges First? 

Beating your criminal case is the top priority.  If you do not win in criminal court, your civil rights case for the same matter is probably moot.  Focus like a laser on the criminal case, then address the civil matter.

As an American citizen, you have certain rights as an individual.  These rights are sacred, and fundamental to what is it to be American.  If your rights have been violated, speak with a Philadelphia criminal lawyer.  Contact the Law Office of Mark D. Copoulos.  We will offer you a free consultation to understand your civil rights matter.