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What to Do If You Ever Experience a False Arrest

This content about police misconduct was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.

False arrest and false imprisonment are both civil rights violations that can result in a lot of pain and suffering for a victim. These offenses violate a victim’s Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable seizures and searches and to be secure in their persons, houses, and effects.

The responsibility of de-escalation falls on police officers; however, it is best if you do not assume that the officer will respect your rights even if you state them or behave towards you in a manner that protects your safety. Every citizen should be aware of the elements of a false arrest, what you should do to reduce risk to yourself in that situation, and when to hire a false arrest attorney.

What a false arrest is and isn’t

If you are held in custody even though you are not guilty of a crime, it does not necessarily constitute a false arrest. To be considered a false arrest, it must have been made without probable cause, i.e., legal justification. Arrests based solely on race or other discriminations, or arrests without mention of the individual’s Miranda Rights, are also wrongful. A specialized false arrest attorney can examine your case and evaluate whether you were wrongfully arrested.

What should I avoid during a false arrest? 

Being arrested without cause or justification can be very frustrating, especially if you’re a citizen who is aware of the rights you’re entitled to. You are within your rights to state to the officer that you believe the arrest is wrongful. Nonetheless, you cannot count on the police officer to be reasonable even after you state your rights.

Reducing risk to yourself need to be the most important thing on your mind, and to achieve that, you should stay calm and not resist the arrest. Unfortunately, these situations are so unpredictable that even individuals who have done everything to comply with officers have been left injured or have lost their lives. Remember that you have the right to make a call, so call a false arrest attorney as soon as you have the chance.

Why contact a California false arrest attorney?

All false arrest cases face the challenge of qualified immunity, so if you decide to pursue legal action, finding a false arrest attorney that is experienced enough to handle the complexities of qualified immunity can substantially influence the outcome of your case. A false arrest attorney in California will most likely pursue this as a civil rights case under Section 1983, requesting damages to compensate you and punish the offending officer or department.

After the false arrest, you should write down what you remember, including the officer’s names, badges, and any other details. If you were injured, take photographs, and if it all possible, try to get witnesses’ contact information. All of this information can help your false arrest attorney build a strong case, increasing your chances of a favorable outcome.

Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California.  Call or email us for a free consultation.

This content was written by a third party and does not represent the views or opinions of Haddad & Sherwin LLP, nor should it be construed as a complete and accurate statement of the law or as legal advice.  For better information about this topic, please contact Haddad & Sherwin LLP.