Working With Great General Attorneys

Arrested Without Cause? Get Compensated

by Maurice Moore

Being arrested is a serious matter and can cost those affected in many ways. After all is said and done, however, some of those acquitted of criminal charges may want to take action against law enforcement. To find out more about taking law enforcement to court for false arrest, read on.

A Good Reason for the Arrest

The law tries to make it more difficult for law enforcement to make a false arrest by requiring the presence of probable cause. This means law enforcement has to show cause for making the arrest. Unfortunately, the concept of probable cause is not written in stone and what constitutes reasonable cause is a bit ambiguous. In most cases, all it takes is the opinion of a law enforcement officer when it comes to suspicious or criminal behavior.

The Legal Elements of False Arrest

Since a false arrest is a civil and not criminal matter, the elements below are prescribed by civil (or personal injury) law. The below four factors must be shown before a false arrest case can be brought to civil court. If the plaintiff (the victim of the false arrest) wins, law enforcement can be made to pay monetary damages.

1. Intent – Your personal injury lawyer must show that the arrest was intentional. If you were arrested, it goes without saying that it was intentional.

2. Cognizance – You understood that you were being arrested.

3. Consent – You did not consent to the arrest. That being said, never resist arrest when dealing with law enforcement. This factor just means that you should not turn yourself in for a crime that you did not commit.

4. Legal – This means that law enforcement acted using either probable cause or using a warrant issued by a judge.

How the False Arrest Harmed You

If all of the above elements are met, you still have to show that the arrest caused you harm. It should be mentioned that you can only bring a false arrest course of action if you were either released from custody with the charges being dropped or you were found innocent in a court of law. Some common forms of harm many false arrest victims suffer from include:

  • Personal embarrassment
  • Monetary losses (such as bail, legal fees, loss of income, etc.)
  • Personal and relationship damage. For example, if you lost visitation rights for your child as a result of the arrest or your partner broke up with you
  • Damage to your physical health
  • Damage to your mental health. For example, you may now suffer from extreme anxiety when near law enforcement or while driving
  • Damage to your career

Speak to a personal injury lawyer to find out more.