If you’ve been the victim of police brutality or misconduct and you want to seek justice, you need a civil rights attorney. However, many people don’t know how to go about finding one. There are so many different kinds of lawyers that it can be easy to get confused as to which one is best to hire. I often get calls from people who don’t know what kind of lawyer they need.

Not every lawyer that is civil litigation lawyer handles civil rights cases. Court cases typically fall into two categories, civil and criminal. Civil cases most often involve money and other non criminal matters like divorce, child custody, and probate matters. Criminal cases deal with the government seeking to deprive someone of their freedom and send them to prison. Civil rights cases fall into the civil category of court cases. Civil Rights attorneys are lawyers that represent citizens who have had their rights violated by the government in some way.

Many people make the mistake of calling a lawyer that helped them with car accident case to help them after they were injured by the police. While that attorney might be very good at representing car accident victims, she might not have any experience in handling complex federal police misconduct civil rights cases. An attorney’s lack of experience handling a certain kind of case could end up hurting the case and the client in the end. So how do you go about finding an attorney that handles police misconduct cases?

Look For Civil Rights Attorneys In Your Local Area

Every state sets its own standards for licensing attorneys. An attorney that is only licensed to practice in California would not be a good choice to represent a person in New York. It doesn’t meant that they can’t represents someone in another jurisdiction. However, it does mean that they might not be as familiar with the local laws in a different jurisdiction.

Representing victims of police brutality and misconduct is a very niche area of the law. I am a Chicago police brutality attorney. I mostly handle cases within the state of Illinois and the majority of my cases involve injustice committed by the Chicago Police Department. As a police brutality and civil rights attorney in Chicago, I am familiar with the Chicago police department, the local courts, and judges. I’ve handled hundreds of police misconduct and brutality cases in Chicago and that makes me more qualified to represent someone in a civil rights case in Chicago as opposed to a lawyer from Florida. Finding a lawyer in your area is important in your search for civil rights attorney. Local attorneys are always better to advise and represent you as opposed to someone who is unfamiliar with the jurisdiction your case will be filed in.

Experience Matters

You want someone who specializes in police misconduct and brutality cases. An attorney that handles medical malpractice cases might be a phenomenal attorney but it doesn’t mean that they know how to represent victims of police brutality and misconduct. Cities and police departments fight tooth and nail to prevent victims of police misconduct from getting justice and compensation. That’s why having an attorney that knows the ropes and how to fight on your behalf is vital. Ask any attorney that you consult about how many police misconduct and brutality cases they’ve handled in their career.

Meet With The Attorney

If possible, set up a meeting with the attorney you’ve found in your area that specializes in police brutality and misconduct cases. This meeting can be on the in person or virtually. A meeting is important so that you can have a chance to connect with the attorney to ensure that you are comfortable with them representing you. This is also an opportunity for you to ask more questions you might have.

Sign An Agreement

Once you’ve had a chance to meet with your experienced police brutality lawyer, be sure that your lawyer provides you with a written agreement to review and sign that states all the terms his or her representation of you. Getting everything in writing will clear up confusion later. It should be clear in the agreement how the attorney is being paid, whether that is hourly or on a contingency basis.

If you or your loved one has been the victim of police brutality or misconduct, you should speak to an experienced civil rights attorney. If you’re in Chicago and the police have violated your rights, contact me to learn more about your rights.

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