Police officers are not above the law! They cannot legally arrest or detain you simply because they want to, or because of your race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or the way you dress. Neither can other types of law enforcement officers, security guards, store managers, or anyone else, for that matter.
What is Wrongful Arrest?
Wrongful Arrest, also referred to as false arrest or unlawful arrest, is the restraint of a person's movement or liberty without proper legal authority. Wrongful arrest is a subcategory of false imprisonment.
We are protected from wrongful arrest and wrongful imprisonment by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution . The Fourteenth Amendment states, "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law."
A law enforcement officer must have probable cause and/or a warrant to arrest you. The Fourth Amendment requires that "No Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation." If an officer knowingly presents false information in order to obtain an arrest warrant, it is still a wrongful arrest, even though there is a warrant.
A security guard must also have probable cause to detain you on suspicion of a crime and may not detain you for an unreasonable amount of time.
42 U.S.C. §1983, is the United States law which holds people, acting under the authority of the state, liable for damages caused when violating your Constitutional rights. This is the law under which you are able to seek compensation for wrongful arrest by police officers and, in some cases, security guards. There are also state laws which specifically prohibit wrongful arrest.
If you believe that you are the victim of Wrongful Arrest, you must act quickly. Time limits, called statute of limitations, prevent you from pursuing your case if you wait too long to get started.
Compensation To You
Reasons behind Wrongful Arrest can include simple incompetence, personal gain, racism, or pure malice. Due to the nature of unlawful arrest, other abuse often takes place during the incident including:
Even when false arrest is a genuine mistake, you may still be entitled to compensation for the damage it has caused. If you have been wrongfully arrested you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Damage to reputation
- Physical harm incurred during or as a result of the wrongful arrest
- Illness incurred during or as a result of the wrongful arrest
- Wrongful death
- Punitive damages
Be aware that if you plead guilty to the charges for which you were wrongly arrested, your lawsuit will be thrown out.
If you are the victim of false arrest, you may also need to sue for false imprisonment, excessive force, malicious prosecution, and/or wrongful conviction. These types of cases can be very difficult to pursue, and often are accompanied by harassment and intimidation. You need an attorney with significant experience with these types of cases fighting for you.
In a Wrongful Arrest case, where you are suing for money damages, if you hire us we will fight for you on a Contingency Fee basis. This means that you do not have to pay us any money up-front and you will not owe us any legal fees unless we win!
If you or a loved one is the victim of Wrongful Arrest by a police officer, security guard, store owner, or private citizen, contact us today.