Philadelphia Polling Place Arrest Attorney
Voting is one of your fundamental rights as a US citizen. Specific state and federal laws are in place to protect this right. If you were arrested at a Philadelphia polling place for allegedly violating a state or local law, including mask requirements related to COVID-19, do not hesitate to contact our attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices for legal advice. Our criminal defense lawyers can help you understand your rights as a voter, poll watcher or poll worker.
You have the right to vote as an American citizen. Both federal and Pennsylvania state laws protect this right. One such law is the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which states that no government agency may deny a person the right to vote based on race or ethnicity. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 applies to federal elections and gives voters the right to accessible voting systems and alternative languages.
It is illegal for the Pennsylvania state or Philadelphia local government to discriminate against you based on your race, ethnicity, national origin or another protected class to deny your right to vote. The only time a poll worker or poll watcher can challenge your right to vote is if you do not live in the precinct or are attempting to vote under someone else’s identity. If someone infringed upon your right to vote in Philadelphia, you may have grounds for a civil lawsuit against that person.
You have the right to vote as you see fit. It is against the law for anyone – including a corporation or militia group – to intimidate or coerce you into voting for a particular candidate or on a certain measure. If you have a disability and require special voting accommodations, you have the legal right to vote independently and privately through a voting system that is accessible for you. If you are not proficient in the English language, you have the right to choose someone to enter the voting booth with you for translation purposes.
Arrested? Here’s What to Do
The police in Philadelphia may arrest you at a polling place for many alleged legal infractions. Some of the most common are election fraud, election crimes, unauthorized poll watching, voter intimidation and – most recently – failure to wear a mask in a county that makes doing so mandatory at polling places. A voter in Maryland, for example, was arrested for not wearing a mask at his polling place. That voter later sued election officials for illegally interfering with and suppressing his right to vote.
If you have been arrested at a polling place in Philadelphia, remain calm and protect your rights by remaining silent. The arresting police officers will be looking for anything to use against you during a criminal case. Saying the wrong thing during or directly after your arrest could hurt your case. The prosecutor can twist your words around to incriminate you. Wait until you have a defense lawyer present to answer questions from law enforcement officers. Do not use force or resist an arrest. Cooperate with the commands of the arresting officer at your polling place until you can contact a defense attorney.
Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices for a Free Consultation 24/7
The defense lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices represent people arrested for alleged crimes and violations in polling places in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Contact us as soon as possible after an arrest at a polling place. We can help you protect your rights from the very beginning of your case. We can custom-tailor a defense strategy to try to dismiss or reduce the charges against you. Our lawyers will answer your questions, gather the facts about your arrest and the case against you, and create a defense that can give you peace of mind during this difficult time. Call (610) 692-8700 or contact us online today to request a free consultation.