New York Civil Rights & Criminal Defense Lawyers

What can you do after a wrongful arrest?

Getting arrested is a frightening experience, but getting detained for no reason is aggravating. Even though humanity has advanced in many ways, there are still occasions when police arrest someone based on their appearance. A person may be able to sue for wrongful arrest if law enforcement restrains them without probable cause.

When does wrongful arrest happen?

Police cannot arrest you on mere suspicion. They must first have a warrant or probable cause, at the very least, to make an arrest. Probable cause is sufficient evidence that can convince any reasonable officer that the individual in question committed a crime or is about to. Without probable cause, arresting you and preventing you from leaving would constitute a wrongful arrest.

Unfortunately, many false arrests are a result of racial profiling. There are far too many cases of police officers stopping and questioning an African American or Hispanic person on the street without probable cause.

Below are examples of wrongful arrest:

  • Threatening you to go to the police station without a valid reason
  • Placing you in handcuffs while illegally searching your vehicle or home
  • Using physical force to restrain you in the location while waiting for backup
  • Pulling over a driver without cause and then arresting them

Options to consider after wrongful arrest

A wrongful arrest is a severe violation of your rights. It is natural to get angry and want to hold the arresting officer accountable.

If you or someone you know is a victim of racial profiling and false arrest, you have the right to file a complaint or bring your case to court. Suing the arresting officer for false arrest may allow you to receive compensation for damages.

Keep in mind that even if the arrest did not result in physical injuries, you may still have suffered damages. Illegally detaining you in jail, for instance, may result in lost wages. Meanwhile, the experience of a false arrest and going through the system could scar you emotionally.

Going against the very people who detained you can be challenging. But it is possible. If you succeed, you may be able to recover compensation for your emotional, physical and economic damages.




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