Unfortunately, thousands of people each year – in Las Vegas and throughout the U.S. – find themselves asking a question they shouldn’t have to contemplate: Can I sue for wrongful arrest?
Police are accorded an immense amount of trust. Most people do not know how to sue for wrongful arrest, nor do they know what wrongful arrest settlements they may be entitled to.
A false or wrongful arrest is one that occurs without probable cause. A wrongful arrest may be motivated by issues such as racial animus, gender, age, sexual orientation, and so on.
Let’s review some common questions surrounding wrongful arrest:
What laws protect citizens from false arrest?
False arrest is typically interpreted by most states as a form of false imprisonment. People subject to false arrest have their Constitutional rights violated. That is, false arrests contravene the 4th Amendment, which requires all arrests to be supported by probable cause.
How dire does the false arrest have to be?
The precise definition of false arrest is usually dictated by state laws, although local laws can play a role. In general, a false arrest must restrict your liberty to move about freely in order to be a criminal offense. A physical, emotional, or financial injury may be required.
What is the difference between a false arrest and a bad arrest?
A bad arrest is one in which an officer believes he or she established probable cause, but has not. In general, courts are far more lenient in cases of bad arrest rather than false or wrongful arrest.
What if the arrest was not made by a police officer?
The vast majority of arrests are made by police officers in a local jurisdiction. However, arrest powers are provided at the county, state, and federal level to a variety of authorities. These include, for example, state police, FBI agents, and federal marshals.
Anyone with arrest powers must comply with the requirements outlined in the 4th Amendment and can be punished if found to have acted against them. When dealing with state or federal officials, contacting wrongful arrest lawyers early in the case is essential.
What damages can I sue for?
In general, persons subject to wrongful arrest may sue for financial compensation (“damages”) related to definite, measurable costs arising from the arrest, like medical bills and lost wages. Sometimes, emotional damages and harm to reputation are also valid.
“Can I be compensated for wrongful arrest?” In most cases, the answer is clear: If you believe you’ve been subject to false arrest, you may be able to bring your case to civil court.
Who should I call?
If you have a lawyer, definitely start there. If you do not have a legal representative, take some time to do research on good law firms that can help you with your specific needs. Keep in mind that not all lawyers or the law firms that they work for are created equal. So it wouldn’t hurt to ask family and friend for a referral and before signing any agreements, be sure to check online for any negative reviews.
This article is provided by Paul Powell (https://paulpowell.com/), a personal injury lawyer with offices in Las Vegas, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Reach out to Paul any time to request a free case evaluation and get the justice you deserve.