A false arrest is when a person claims that they have been held against their will without probable cause or court order. A false arrest can be a kind of police misconduct. For example, if an officer takes a person into custody only because they’re African American, then that person may claim to be a victim of a false arrest.
Officers have a right to stop you and arrest you with probable cause. Police can arrest individuals without a warrant if they witness a misdemeanor or felony take place. To prove that an arrest was a false arrest, the victim has to prove that the arresting officer did not have probable cause. Essentially, if any other reasonable person wouldn’t have believed that a crime took place, the officer probably did not have probable cause.
False arrests often go alongside false imprisonment, since people who are arrested are often jailed. Proving one can help prove the other.
What should you do if you’re a victim of a false arrest?
No matter what kind of arrest it is, one of the first things you should do is to reach out to your attorney for support. Whether or not the arrest is false shouldn’t play a role in deciding to call your attorney; the authorities know that you have a right to an attorney and should give you the option to reach out to one.
Our website has more on false arrests and false imprisonment. With the right information and support, you can make your claim and fight against unfair treatment by the police.