Can I Sue A Police Officer For False Arrest Yes
A police officer can be sued for false arrest. Qualified immunity applies to government workers in any state including police officers. Police officers are immune from suit in false arrest cases. However, where the officer violated a clearly established law the protection no longer exists and a police officer can be sued. A person should only be arrested where there is probable cause which is a lower standard of guilt than beyond a reasonable doubt. Probable cause means that the police officer must reasonably suspect that you have committed a crime. Therefore, if the police acted on an erroneous belief or acted maliciously without cause then he can be sued.
Santa Fe Civil Rights Lawyer Explains False Arrest Claims
In his experience as a Santa Fe civil rights lawyer, Richard A. “Rick” Sandoval sees that most people find encounters with the police to be unnerving even when the encounter is routine, like a traffic stop, and even when they have done nothing wrong. Most of the time, these encounters are uneventful. Sometimes, though, these encounters go wrong and an individual may be subjected to a false arrest. If you are a victim of a false arrest leading to emotional or physical injuries, a false arrest lawyer can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Reasons For Suing The Police
Under federal law, police officers may be sued both personally and professionally . A civilian may file a lawsuit against a police officer for various reasons, including:
- Infliction of emotional distress: When an officer purposely or recklessly behaves in a way that causes either emotional injury or distress through a negligent act.
- Excessive force: When an officer uses deadly force in a situation that does not justify it.
In civil suits such as these, the burden of proof typically falls on the plaintiff, who must prove liability by a preponderance of the evidence . This is a significantly lower standard than the one for criminal cases .
There are two types of claims one can file against a police officer in a personal capacity:
: the plaintiff must demonstrate that the officer either a) knew that a fellow policeman was violating the plaintiffs constitutional rights b) had a reasonable chance to prevent the harm or c) decided not to act.
Supervisor Liability: This liability requires that a supervisor had knowledge that a subordinate officer displayed conduct that posed an unreasonable risk of constitutional injury to citizens.
Also Check: How To Get A Police Report In Massachusetts
You May Like: When’s The Next Police Auction
False Arrest Sometimes Known As False Imprisonment Or Wrongful Arrest Occurs When Someone Wrongfully Holds You Against Your Will Or Takes You Into Custody
False arrest, sometimes known as false imprisonment or wrongful arrest, occurs when someone wrongfully holds you against your will or takes you into custody. Both private persons and law enforcement agents can commit this crime when they act beyond or outside of the scope of their authority.
False arrest is a crime and a civil harm, enabling the victim to sue for damages in a civil lawsuit.
What Types Of Offences Can Police Make Arrests For
As it currently stands, there are only two types of offence under UK law:
Arrestable offences: These tend to be focused on more serious crimes and include car theft, burglary, affray etc.
Non-arrestable offences: These are far less serious and include modification of computer material, failing to stop a vehicle when asked to do so and most driving offences.
However, the police can arrest someone if they have a good reason to do so or in the following circumstances:
- To stop a breach of the peace
- If they think a breach of the peace is about to take place
- When a court has issued an arrest warrant
- If a person is committing an arrestable offence
- If a person is about to commit an arrestable offence
- If a person is guilty of an arrestable offence
Don’t Miss: Can Police Locate A Cell Phone
No Two Civil Rights Cases Are The Same Find Out The Value For Yours
The most unique characteristic about civil rights cases centers upon the difference between each matter. Simply stated, few successfully litigated cases, arise from the millions of yearly stops, arrests, and prosecutions, can for a Plaintiff. In criminal court, the standard for guilt and liability, remains proof beyond a reasonable doubt, an extremely high standard. Whereas, for civil rights violations, the proof standard in a preponderance of the evidence. While, federal courts have different proof standards for civil rights matters, the crucial question remains did probable cause exist? If probable cause existed to arrest, or prosecute someone, no civil rights claim exists. When police have probable cause to arrest someone, although charges may later be dismissed, no cognizable civil rights violation exists.
How To Sue A Police Department And Win
If youve had a negative experience with the police, youre probably wondering whether or not you can take legal action against them. Even though taking a police department to small claims court can be daunting, it is possible to win. Even with laws like qualified immunity shielding police from some accountability, suing and winning against a police department is not impossible.
You May Like: How To Become A Police Captain
Arrest On The Basis Of Bias
Arrest inspired by hatred or dislike Police have a responsibility to act in an impartial and fair matter, regardless of whether or not they like the person they arrest. An officer who actively hunts for a reason to arrest someone they dont like or are angry with is probably engaging in wrongful arrest. This is true even when evidence of a crime exists.
What Is Police Negligence
Police negligence relates to when there is a lack of care, diligence and urgency in their duties which result in mistakes being made and ending with a negative outcome. In some cases, Police negligence can have devastating repercussions that could be avoided if they acted more conscientiously and with more consideration of the situation they are dealing with.
If you are thinking of suing the UK Police for negligence, give us a call and we will help and advise you in any way we can. We have Police negligence solicitors that can work on your police negligence claims and get you the police negligence compensation that you deserve.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Join The Police
Does Wrongful Arrest Grant The Right To Resist
Yes! Although there is a common misconception that no one has the right to arrest at any time, you can, in fact, resist arrest if you have been wrongfully arrested. The best way to do this is to directly inform the officer that the arrest is wrongful and that you intend to peacefully resist for that reason.
Be cautious about how you present yourself if you intend to resist. Just because an arrest is wrongful does not mean you have the right to become aggressive, violent, or threatening toward the officer Speak slowly and directly in a moderated tone and be sure to tell the officer I know my rights.
Whether or not resisting is your best choice at the time of arrest, however, is another matter. Often, its better to go along with the arrest and ask to speak with a lawyer immediately who can help you navigate the process more effectively.
Can I Sue If The Police Use False Evidence To Justify Arrest
On occasion, police officers will fabricate, lie, or otherwise create false evidence to justify an arrest. You may be able to sue for compensation if this has happened to you. Read on to find out more, contact us on 08000 124 246, or complete the online form on this page.
Contact Kevin Donoghue, solicitor, for advice if you think the police used false evidence to justify your arrest.
Don’t Miss: Do You Have To Pay For The Police Academy
Damages In Ohio Malicious Prosecution And False Arrest Cases
As with other police misconduct cases, both malicious prosecution and false arrest claims allow victims to recover compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorneys fees. Compensatory damages are designed to make victims whole for their losses. Among other things, that includes pain and suffering, harm to reputation, and the time lost during wrongful detention or imprisonment. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are designed to punish the defendant for the wrongful act and to deter others from similar conduct.
Before Making A Claim
For your lawsuit against the police to be successful, the police must have done something to you that is against the law. In civil court, a wrongful act is called a tort.
For example, you may be able to make a claim for:
- wrongful arrest and detention
- assault and battery
- negligent use of force
You must be able to tell the judge how the facts of your case show that the police did something to you that is against the law.
You have to prove your case on a balance of probabilities. This means you have to show the judge that your story is more believable than what the police say happened.
You May Like: How To Become A Special Police Officer
Contact Santa Fe Civil Rights Lawyer Richard Rick Sandoval
Police officers sometimes make mistakes, but you do not have to be a silent victim of those mistakes. If you believe that you were falsely arrested or imprisoned, talk with an experienced Santa Fe civil rights lawyer about your legal options. If you would like to schedule a time to meet with me, please call me, at 505.795.7790 or 1-866-BEST LAWYER , to schedule a free consultation.
Unlawful Arrests Righting The Wrongs Of Police Office Misconduct Attorneys Chicago Il
It is the polices job to arrest criminals and people who break the law. However, they do not have to right to arrest people without proper evidence of guilt. If they arrest a person unlawfully, they can be sued and penalized for unlawful arrests by the court according to the constitution of the United States.
Over the years in service, the Law Office of Robert Kerr, LLC has defended people who have been falsely arrested by the police. So, what exactly defines a false arrest? In simple words, a false arrest happens when you are held in police custody without a strong cause and without a court order.
Read Also: How Do I Obtain My Police Record
What Can I Sue The Police For If The Victim Of A Wrongful Arrest
If you are the victim of an unlawful arrest, the time spent in custody is classed as being a false imprisonment. Because your Human Rights have been violated, and your freedom of movement restricted, you may have been the victim of a criminal act and a civil wrong.
The amount of damages which could be received would depend upon how long the person was unlawfully detained against their will.
If you are the victim of an unlawful arrest, you can automatically claim assault if you have been handcuffed or any hands were laid upon you with unreasonable force during the arrest.
If a police officer disputes this charge and account of events, your case would depend on the evidence of other witnesses. If a case of this nature did get to trial, medical evidence of any injuries sustained would be needed.
The outcome would obviously lie with who the judge or jury believed, but if you were successful the amount of damages awarded would depend upon the severity of your injuries.
Unlawful Arrests And Lodging A Civil Claim Against The Police
Over the last few years, Parliaments police portfolio committee has frequently raised concerns over the growing number of civil claims against the South African Police Services. Just last year, the Minister of Police was ordered to pay almost R600 000 in damages to a teenager who was unlawfully arrested and detained. The teenager was arrested on suspicion of robbery and was subsequently thrown in a dirty jail cell and assaulted by inmates. Unfortunately, this isnt an isolated incident. It is reported that in the 2015/2016 financial year, the Minister paid R300 million to settle claims.
Our courts dont take the arbitrary deprivation of personal freedom lightly. Of course, the irony is crystal-clear: an institution thats in place to serve and protect innocent citizens ends up infringing on peoples rights. And yes- the police can break the law and even, ultimately, be held accountable for their actions.
Naturally, with crime being prevalent in South Africa, the SAPS often have to make quick decisions in an attempt to be pro-active, and, yes, mistakes happen. However, it is an entirely different story when the police do not conduct a thorough investigation, display blatant negligence or arrest an innocent person. There are other contributing factors, too: often officers are under-trained and dont adhere to policing procedures, which results in them breaking the law or violating the SAPS Code of Conduct.
Legal Rights & Protection Under The Constitution
Weve Got Your Back!
Don’t Miss: What Does A Police Background Check Consist Of
Its All About You We Want To Help You Make The Right Legal Decisions
We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesnt influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
It is common to want to sue the police after unpleasant contact or friction, especially when the conflict resulted in an arrest that seemed unwarranted, unfair, or downright abusive. Suing the police is complicated, though, even when you have been a victim of some kind of police misconduct and are absolutely innocent with regard to your arrest. This overview of the downfalls you may encounter when you sue the police will help you understand and protect your rights.
Suing the police for abuse or other violations can be an arduous task not only because of the time and expense involved but also due to certain legal protections that apply to police. However, it is possible to successfully sue the police by becoming aware of the laws allowances and limitations, carefully building a solid case, and staying the course.
Legal Protections for Both Citizens and Police
How to Sue the Police for Misconduct
What You Should Do to Sue the Police
Can Police Officers Be Sued Personally
Request a Quote! An insurance quote does not impact your credit score.
Police officers are highly respected by most people because of the risks and liabilities they often face while protecting their communities and enforcing the law. However, policemen and women are ultimately human, which means they sometimes make mistakes everyone knows this. In these cases, officers are typically investigated for misconduct. What most people dont know is whether or not police officers can be sued personally for wrongful actions. Here is a close look at this subject.
You May Like: How To Become A Detroit Police Officer
How The Burden Of Proof In False Imprisonment Claims Changes Things
In nearly all civil litigation compensation claims the burden of proof is on you, the claimant. This means that you must prove your claim against the defendant on the balance of probabilities. The court is asked is it more probable than not that the claimant has made out his/ her claim as alleged?
If the answer is yes, you win your claim and receive your legally entitled compensation.
False imprisonment is different because it reverses the burden of proof. So once you prove that you have been deprived of your liberty it is the defendant arresting officers job to justify your arrest by proving that it was lawful.
The question for the court in false imprisonment claims is then is it more probable than not that the defendant has proven that the arrest/ detention was lawful? If not, you can be awarded compensation calculated on this basis.
What Can I Sue The Police For If I Am The Victim Of A Wrongful Arrest
If the police fail to follow any of the above rules, you may be entitled to sue for wrongful arrest. Even if you are charged with a crime after being arrested, you are still able to sue.
The police should only use reasonable force if you try to run away or become violent. This includes pinning you down or using approved holds, such as handcuffs.
You can sue the police for:
- False imprisonment: If you were the victim of an unlawful arrest, any time spent in custody is classed as false imprisonment
- Assault: You can claim assault if you have been handcuffed or if any unreasonable force was laid on you during the arrest.
Don’t Miss: Are Police Reports Public Record In Nevada
When Can A Legal Arrest Become Unlawful
The rules set out in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 explain when and how often the police should look at whether you should continue to be detained.
So, even if you have been legally arrested by the police, there are circumstances where it can become unlawful, including:
- If there is no longer a valid reason for keeping you under arrest
- If you arent charged with an offence even though there may be enough evidence to do so
- If the police dont follow the rules of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act