New York has a reputation for police misconduct, and the state is no stranger to false arrest claims. According to the Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project, police misconduct occurs almost daily in New York. Fortunately, justice is available when police behave inappropriately, and victims do not have to be physically abused in order to bring a successful claim.
If you were the victim of a false arrest, then you may be entitled to compensation. Goldberg & Allen, L.L.P is dedicated to helping victims of false arrest in New York. Call 212-766-3366 to discuss your case with a false arrest lawyer in New York City.
Until then, here are four steps that you may have to take during the claims process:
- Learn the Legal Standard
In order to carry out their official duties, the police and other law enforcement agencies generally have qualified immunity. This means that they cannot be liable for lawsuits that arise from their duty-related actions. In order to sue a police officer or law enforcement agency successfully, you have to prove that he or she did not have probable cause that you were participating in criminal activities at the time.
- File a Lawsuit
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from police misconduct and various other violations of human rights. If you can prove that the officer did not have probable cause to arrest you, then you may be able to sue him or her for false arrest. However, before you file the lawsuit, you should file a tort claim against New York City.
- Claim Punitive Damages
In a large portion of false arrest cases, police intentionally or maliciously violate the rights of arrestees. They arrest people in a retaliatory manner or touch them inappropriately while performing the arrest.
If you can present evidence that the officer maliciously or intentionally violated your rights, then you may be entitled to punitive damages, or financial compensation. These awards are designed to punish the officer for his or her malicious actions toward you and to give you some monetary relief for the injustice.
- Gather Evidence
Because probable cause forms the basis of most false arrest claims, factual records are particularly important to judges and juries. For this reason, it is crucial that you gather as much evidence to support your claim as possible. Pay a small fee for a personal copy of the police report, and locate as many eyewitnesses as possible – including those excluded from mention in the report.
A false arrest can really undermine an individual, making him or her feel utterly helpless. Justice is available to those who are willing to stand up for their rights.
A false arrest attorney can evaluate your arrest and discuss your options. Even if the officer did not physically harm you, there may still be valid grounds for a lawsuit. Goldberg & Allen, L.L.C. is available at 212-766-3366 for legal counsel and aggressive representation.