New York residents experience more than their fair share of police brutality, but officers do not have to abuse a suspect physically to violate his or her rights. According to Cornell University, police must follow certain protocols when arresting a person, and violating these procedures may constitute a false arrest. If you were the victim of false arrest in New York, then a criminal attorney can help you pursue justice.

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A false arrest lawyer from Goldberg & Allen, LLP can evaluate your case to determine if you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Call 212-766-3366 to discuss your legal options.

Until then, read on to learn five steps to take immediately after a false arrest in New York City:

  1. Learn the Legal Standard

Government officials, including police, have qualified immunity, as the First Amendment Center explains. This means that nobody can sue them for the actions they take while on the job.

However, qualified immunity only protects police if they had probable cause to arrest you. If you can prove a lack of probable cause, then you may be able to file a successful lawsuit.

  1. File a Lawsuit

If you are able to prove that the officer did not have probable cause to arrest you, or no reason to suspect you of criminal activity, then the court may find that he or she violated your Fourth Amendment rights. The first step in pursuing damages is initiating a lawsuit.

You can begin with a tort claim against the city. You should also file a complaint with the police department directly. If the city rejects your claim or fails to respond in time, then you can then initiate a civil lawsuit.

  1. Consider Punitive Damages

Unfortunately, a large portion of false arrest cases start because police violate the arrestee’s rights intentionally or maliciously. Often, they arrest people in retaliation for some slight, or they touch them inappropriately while arresting them.

When evidence shows police officers intentionally or maliciously violating people’s rights, victims may pursue punitive damages. Punitive damages punish offenders for particularly egregious behavior. If the court believes that the officer deserves punishment, then it may award punitive damages.

  1. Gather Evidence

Most false arrest cases rely on proving a lack of probable cause. For this reason, you must present indisputable evidence to justify your claim. Eyewitness accounts, medical records and the police report all may support your claim.

  1. Hire a False Arrest Lawyer in New York City

The process of winning a false arrest claim is legally complex. Naming a police officer in a lawsuit is a serious matter. As such, the guidance of a false arrest lawyer may prove invaluable. Your attorney can gather evidence, talk to witnesses, evaluate the officer’s arrest history and represent your interests in court.

Victims of false arrest suffer more than an unjustified stint behind bars. The arrest can ruin their reputations and affect their professional and personal lives.

If you were falsely arrested in New York City, then contact Goldberg & Allen, LLP. Call 212-766-3366 to schedule a consultation.