An arrest is deemed wrongful when a person is detained and wrongfully
convicted by police without proper legal authority. Wrongful arrests most
commonly occur when a retail employee or retail owner holds a customer
against their will because they have probable cause that the customer
committed a crime in their store such as shoplifting. Or, the retailer calls the
police and has the police arrest the suspect without any evidence, just on the
word of the retail owner or employee. If you or someone you know has been
falsely arrested, you may have a potential case.
Wrongful arrest also includes:
Arrest of the wrong person
Arrest of a person without probable cause that that person committed a
Arrest without the mention of the suspect’s Miranda Rights
Arrest without just cause
Arrest with an arrest warrant that was obtained with false information
given to the court by a police officer
Arrest by incompetence
Arrest for personal gain
Arrest based on race
Arrest based on pure malice
Most people that are involved in a wrongful arrest case usually file a lawsuit
against the arresting officer, the police department, and the township for
damages that include mental distress and embarrassment. The majority of
these cases are usually discovered after the fact of the arrest and when the
case reaches court.
Can I resist arrest if I feel it is wrongful?
Anyone that is being arrested by a police officer who feels it is wrongful can
resist arrest. The person being wrongfully arrested can tell the officer that it is
wrongful. Once that statement is made, the officer has to demand that the
person present evidence that the arrest if wrongful. If evidence presented
proves that the arrest is wrongful then the officer cannot lawfully arrest the
person any longer. If no evidence is presented then the person being arrested
must cooperate with police entirely. The resistance of arrest cannot be violent
or harmful to the officer in anyway.
Once the arrest has been made, because there was no evidence presented,
then the claim can be made again in the presence of a lawyer. Not all courts
will allow the suspect to prove their claim because of the fear that the person
will flee the area.
How are Americans protected from wrongful arrest?
Citizens of the United States are protected from wrongful arrest by the Fourth
and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment
states that “No Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by
Oath or affirmation.” The Fourteenth Amendment states that “No person shall
be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”
I have been wrongfully arrested; what can I sue
If a person is wrongfully arrested they can sue for a variety of different
damages and wages lost during their period of incarceration:
Damage to reputation
Physical harm incurred during or as a result of the wrongful arrest
Illness incurred during or as a result of the wrongful arrest
Be advised; if a person that is wrongfully arrested pleads guilty to any of the
charges brought against them in a court of law and it is then found that they
were wrongfully arrested, that person will have their lawsuit legally thrown out
and cannot sue for any of the items mentioned above.
Wrongful arrests happen quite regularly in the United States and are tough to
avoid if the person being arrested does not have the proper evidence to prove
to the arresting officer that the arrest being made is incorrect.A qualified
criminal defense attorney should be consulted if you or someone you know is
facing any criminal charges.