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 wrongful detainments, so if you think that you have been arrested by a party that doesn’t have the authority to do this, call a Connecticut false arrest lawyer.
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 probable 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.
Situation Number One
Imagine this situation: You are at a professional baseball game and you walk by a police officer. The cop doesn’t like the fact that you are rooting for the visiting team. The cop handcuffs you and puts you in jail until the end of the game. Is this legal?
Short Answer: NO. Police can only arrest when they have probable cause for an arrest – a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed. Rooting for the visiting team is not a crime. The police officer had no authority to arrest and detain you. You may have a lawsuit against the police officer for violating your civil rights.
Under both federal and state law in Connecticut, a “false arrest” is an unlawful restraint of a person’s physical liberty by a police officer. A false arrest takes place when:
- You are arrested by the police.
- You did not consent to the arrest.
- The police officer acted without probable cause.
If you are falsely arrested, you have a right to sue the police officer in court with help from an attorney and to seek money damages for the violation of your civil rights.
Situation Number Two
What if the police officer arrested you on a suspected DUI, but it turned out you were completely sober? The police officer, angry that his suspicions about you were wrong, arrested and charged you with DUI crimes anyway. Is this legal?
Short Answer: NO. The cop cannot arrest and charge you with crimes out of spite. The police officer had no authority to charge you with crimes that you did not commit. You may have a lawsuit against the police officer for violating your civil rights.
Under both federal and state law in Connecticut, a “malicious prosecution” is where a police officer wrongfully brings unjustified criminal charges against an arrestee. A malicious prosecution takes place when:
- The police officer arrests and brings criminal charges against you.
- The court proceedings end in your favor.
- The police officer did not have probable cause to arrest you.
- The police officer acted out of malice (evil) rather than legitimate police reasons.
If you have been maliciously prosecuted for an unjust reason, you have a right to sue the police officer in court and to seek money damages for the violation of your civil rights.
Private individuals can be responsible for false arrest and malicious prosecution. Imagine a security guard for a department store or a grocery store that detains a person wrongly suspected of shoplifting. This is a false arrest too. If the suspected person was referred to the police, arrested, and prosecuted based upon the security guard’s improper motives, this might be a malicious prosecution as well.
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 you 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 a false arrest attorney to learn how you can receive this compensation.
Get Help from a Connecticut False Arrest Attorney
If you think that you are the victim of false arrest, an attorney could help. A Connecticut false arrest lawyer 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.