Have your civil rights been violated? Are you a victim of police misconduct, such as wrongful arrest or excessive force in the form of police brutality and unjustified police shootings? The Goodwin Firm is here to help. We represent victims whose civil rights have been violated by law enforcement, government agencies, or private businesses.
The civil rights granted by the Constitution come primarily from the following:
The First Amendment: Guarantees freedom of speech, expression, and religion and provides protection against retaliation.
The Fourth Amendment: Protects you against illegal searches and seizures and police brutality.
Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment: Limit the power of the federal and state governments to discriminate. Private companies and individuals are not directly constrained by the Constitution.
The Sixth Amendment: Guarantees your right to a lawyer if you have been accused of a crime.
Over the years, Congress has also passed laws granting individuals additional civil rights, including:
The Civil Rights Act of 1964: Prohibits federal, state, and local governments, and most private companies from discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin.
American with Disabilities Act (ADA): Prohibits federal, state, and local governments, and most private companies from discrimination based on a recognized disability. Under the ADA, no individual may be discriminated against on the basis of disability with regards to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases, or operates a place of public accommodation. Public accommodations include most places of lodging (such as hotels), recreation, transportation, education, and dining, along with stores, care providers, and places of public displays.
Fair Housing Act: Probihits property owners to refuse to sell, rent to, or negotiate with any person based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, or national origin.
LGBTQ Discrimination (discrmination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity):
While there is currently no federal or Florida law protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination, some courts, including some federal courts in Florida, have found that the prohibition against discrimination based in gender in the federal law includes a prohibition against discrimination based on gender identity and have ruled in favor of transgender individuals seeking protection from these laws. Additionally, several counties and cities in Florida have passed laws banning discrimination against LGBTQ individuals. The Florida counties and cities that have passed such laws include the Tampa Bay communities of:
City of Dunedin City of Gulfport
Hillsborough County City of Largo
Pinellas County (Sexual Orientation Only) City of Sarasota (Sexual Orientation Only)
City of St. Petersburg (Sexual Orientation Only)
City of Tampa
Additionally, the following Florida municipalities and counties have enacted laws aimed at protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination:
Alachua County City of Atlantic Beach Broward County
City of Cape Coral City of Gainesville City of Juno Beach
City of Key West City Of Lake Worth Leon County
City of Miami City of Miami Beach Miami Dade County
Monroe County Orange County City of Orlando
City of Oakland Park Palm Beach County City of St. Augustine
Village of Tequesta Volusia County City of Venice
City of West Palm Beach City of Wilton Manors
Types of Civil Rights Violations
Attorney April S. Goodwin is committed to helping you secure damages for civil rights violations involving all forms of misconduct by the government and private companies including:
Police shootings Police brutality
Unlawful arrests Unlawful searches and seizures
Restraint of free speech or expression Housing discrimination
Discrimination based on race, gender, national origin, or religion Housing discrimination
Education (School) discrimination Discrimination based on disability
Discrimination based on sexual orientation Discrimination based on gender identity
Accommodation discrimination (businesses open to the public such as hotels, restaurants, and retail stores)
Your First Step
If you feel that you have been the victim of a civil rights violation, we encourage you to contact us today at (727) 316.5333 for a free case evaluation.