False Arrest Lawsuits
While the police have the ability to arrest those who are breaking the law, it doesn't mean that they do not have to follow procedure. Federal and state laws place restrictions on police officers' ability to arrest American citizens, including the amount and types of force they may use when doing so.
If officers arrest someone without probable cause that the person has committed a crime, they may be committing a false arrest. If you think you have been the victim of a false arrest, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
To speak with a local injury lawyer about your false arrest case, fill out the brief form below to get a free consultation.
Elements of a False Arrest Lawsuit
In order to be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit for false arrest, a victim must prove several elements under state laws. Key parts of a false arrest lawsuit may vary by state, but generally include:
- The person charged with making a false arrest must be acting under the impression that he or she is a legal authority. A uniformed police officer is a common example of someone acting under legal authority.
- The arresting officer must not have probable cause to arrest the victim. If a person has not committed a crime, there is usually no probable cause for arrest. However, if you were violating the law then you may have difficulty making your case.
- If an officer uses excessive force during the false arrest, a victim may also be able to file a police brutality claim, though this is separate from a false arrest lawsuit.
False arrest claims may be filed under state tort laws or federal civil rights regulations. These laws vary by state and situation, so speaking with a local injury lawyer may help you determine what laws apply in your specific case.
Other Examples of a False Arrest
As mentioned above, police officers are often responsible for false arrests. Remember, though, that a false arrest can be made by those acting with some legal authority.
As a result, false arrest lawsuits may arise from a wide range of incidents. These may include:
- Private security contractors, who are sometimes referred to as "rent-a-cops," who unlawfully detain people who have not committed a crime.
- Owners or employees of retail establishments who hold someone they erroneously think is a shoplifter.
- Private citizens who pretend to be police officers and make arrests.
If you believe your rights have been violated, you can contact a local injury attorney today to learn more about your state’s protections against false arrests and other forms of police brutality.