Taking on the establishment is not for the faint of heart. Gilbert Law Firm has attorneys on staff who have prior military, and law enforcement experience. We support the law enforcement community, and our local and national government. However, we do not sanction abuse of power at any level. Nor do we support any encroachment of our Constitutional Rights – or those of our neighbors and fellow citizens. When the government steps across that line, Gilbert Law Firm stands ready to fight the establishment to protect your rights.
Law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and other government agency employees have been given tremendous power in our country. That power includes authority to detain and arrest, to search and seize property, to remove children from our homes, to bring criminal charges, and to use force, including deadly force, if necessary, to enforce the law.
Unfortunately, widespread abuse of this authority has become a problem throughout the system. We are all victims when the government wrongfully, and unlawfully, abuses its power to discriminate against, injure, or oppress the powerless. When government agents willfully deprive or conspire to deprive a person of a right protected by the Constitution or U.S. law, Gilbert Law Firm stands ready to fight for those that have been injured, or oppressed.
Civil Rights violations manifest themselves in a number of ways. Probably the most pervasive violation in recent years have come in the form of abuse of force by law enforcement.
By law, a law enforcement officers is only allowed to use that amount of force necessary to initiate an arrests, maintain order, or protect themselves or others from harm. When confronted with the need to use force, law enforcement officers are allowed to use whatever force is “reasonably” necessary. Violations of federal law occur when it can be shown that the force used was willfully “unreasonable” or “excessive.
The level of force an officer uses varies based on the situation. Because of this variation, guidelines for the use of force are based on many factors, including the officer’s level of training or experience. An officer’s goal is to regain control as soon as possible while protecting the community. Use of force is an officer’s last option — a necessary course of action to restore safety in a community when other practices are ineffective.
The levels, or continuum, of force police use include officer presence, verbal commands, escalating to physical restraint or the use of less-than-lethal force alternatives, and finally, lethal force.
The frequency of police use-of-force events that may be defined as justified or excessive is difficult to estimate. There is no national database of officer-involved shootings or incidents in which police use excessive force. Most agencies keep such records, but no mechanism exists to produce a national estimate.
If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of excessive force, contact Gilbert Law Firm for a free consultation.
False arrest and fabrication of evidence: The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right against unreasonable searches or seizures. A law enforcement officer is allowed to stop you, and under certain circumstances, to search you, and seize your property. However, there are certain specific requirements that an officer must articulate before he can either detain you, search you, or your property. Fabrication of evidence, unlawful detention or illegal search and confiscation of property constitutes a violation of your civil rights. If you believe you have been unlawfully detained, or your property has been unlawfully seized, Gilbert Law Firm can help you.
The Fourteenth Amendment secures the right to due process; the Eighth Amendment prohibits the use of cruel and unusual punishment. During an arrest or detention, these rights can be violated by in a number of ways. The person accused of a crime must be allowed the opportunity to have a trial and should not be subjected to punishment without having been afforded the opportunity of the legal process.
Having prior law enforcement experience matters in civil rights litigation. Having the respect of law enforcement officers and government attorneys matters in civil rights litigation. Bill Gilbert has that experience, and has earned that respect.