Most police officers have the well-being of the public at heart, but each year, thousands of people are taken into custody under false arrest. Fortunately, the U.S. Constitution protects Americans from arrest without probable cause.
If you were a victim of false arrest in New York City, then Goldberg & Allen, LLP can help. We understand the frustration and stress that come with these cases, and we will aggressively fight to defend your rights. As a false arrest victim, we can help you pursue justice by filing an intentional tort personal-injury claim. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 212-766-3366.
In the meantime, read on to learn more about false arrest laws in New York:
Did the Officer Have the Right to Arrest Me?
Every arrest is unique, so it is difficult to determine if you were the victim of false arrest without a thorough case review. Sometimes, police make mistakes that cause a false arrest; other times, officers willfully disregard a citizen’s Fourth Amendment rights as outlined by the U.S. Constitution.
Just because you are innocent does not mean you were the victim of false arrest. The officer may have had probable cause to take you into custody. Probable cause is a reasonable suspicion that a suspect committed a crime.
Probable Cause Still Requires Proof
If police take a suspect into custody, they must be able to demonstrate that there was sufficient evidence to make the arrest. This may be physical evidence, such as the presence of drugs or an illegal weapon, or any verbal exchange that may have occurred between the suspect and the police. The latter is the reason why it is so important to avoid making statements to police without an attorney present.
If a suspect files a lawsuit for false arrest, then he or she must demonstrate that police lacked probable cause. An attorney who is well-versed in civil rights laws can evaluate your case and help you gather evidence to prove this claim.
You May Not Be Able to Sue for False Arrest
Not every false arrest claim is successful. Depending on the details of the case, you may not be able to file the lawsuit in the first place. For example, if you have pled guilty before a court or you were convicted before a jury, then you may have lost your ability to sue for false arrest
False Arrest vs. False Imprisonment
False arrest is one form of false imprisonment, and the two have many similarities. In fact, the only real difference, legally speaking, is that an arrest may start out as legal but become false imprisonment if police hold the suspect longer than is legally allowed.
False arrests can be humiliating and even traumatizing. They are a violation of civil rights, and it is easy for victims to lose confidence in the entire justice system.
If you were the victim of false arrest, contact Goldberg & Allen, LLP to schedule a free case review with a New York City criminal attorney. Our office is available at 212-766-3366.