When you have an interaction with an authority figure, you expect them to be honest with you.

Unless you have a law degree or you work within the criminal justice system, you won’t know the details of the law. You don’t know proper protocol for being stopped, searched, or arrested by a police officer.

Sometimes, police officers try to take advantage of this lack of knowledge by making a false arrest. Other parties also make false arrests, so if you think that you have been arrested by a party that doesn’t have the authority to do this, read on.

What is False Arrest?

False arrest is exactly what it sounds like. It occurs when a party makes an arrest when they do not have the right to. If arrested without probable cause, this constitutes a false arrest. This can happen when the police make an arrest without proper grounds to do so. It can also happen if a private party tries to make an arrest and doesn’t have the authority to do this. False arrest charges oftentimes go against parties such as private security companies.

It is especially easy to determine a false arrest if you have not committed a crime. If arrested for something that you did not do, chances are the arresting party does not have sufficient evidence to arrest you. In many of these situations, a civil rights lawyer can prove that there was not probably cause or a warrant for the arrest. This can result in the dismissal of your case.

Sometimes, false arrests are merely mistakes. A lack of communication within a department or human error can lead to unintended false arrests. But, some false arrests are malicious and purposeful.

False Arrest Requirements

There are three basic requirements for something to be considered false arrest and for you to be able to pursue a case against the state. The first is that the police officer had to make the arrest by restraining your forcefully, or by intimidating you with their authority. The person making the arrest has to have the power to make the arrest or make you believe that they have the power to make the arrest.

The second requirement for false arrest is that the arresting officer makes you believe that you are not able to leave. You have to believe that you have no choice but to do what the officer asks you to do. Some examples of this are handcuffing you or putting you in a locked room. Obviously, you are not free to leave in these situations.

The third requirement is that the officer knows that there is not probable cause to arrest you. If an officer make an arrest when they know that they cannot legally do so, false arrest occurs.

Protecting Yourself Against False Arrest

False arrest is a violation of your rights as a United States citizen. If you face a false arrest issue, you are protected and have the right to take action. Under federal law, false arrests constitute a violation of the Fourth Amendment. A violation of the Fourth Amendment can become rectified by Title 42, Section 1983 of the United States Code. This statute claims that the state is responsible for the false arrest and it is also responsible for restitution.

False arrest is considered one type of false imprisonment. False imprisonment is a serious issue, and you will likely be entitled to compensation to make up for it. You could receive compensation for physical, financial, or emotional injury. Contact an attorney to learn how you can receive this compensation.

Getting Help

If you think that you are the victim of false arrest, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can review your situation and make sure that the three requirements mentioned above exist. Then, the lawyer can help you recover compensation for your injury.