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False arrest lawsuits may be filed under both state and federal laws. The procedures for these lawsuits vary and you have a limited time to file under both state and federal statutes of limitation. These lawsuits can be complicated which is why it is best to work with an attorney who understands the process and can ensure that it is followed correctly. At Townsend, Mottola & Uris Law, we can evaluate your case to determine its merits and potential for success as well as follow through with valid cases in seeking the justice you deserve.
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Police officers and others must respect your Constitutional rights when seeking to arrest you. Arrests by law enforcement can only be made when probable cause exists or a valid warrant for the arrest has been obtained. Probable cause means that the arresting party has reasonable certainty that you have committed a crime. However, this rule is sometimes violated when arresting officers abuse their authority. Whether intentional or unintentional, this abuse is a violation of your civil rights. It can lead to unlawful detention, the use of excessive force, threats, physical or emotional harm, and even wrongful imprisonment.
Examples of wrongful arrests in New York City were abundant under its “stop and frisk” policy that allowed police officers to stop, question, and search individuals in the city based on “reasonable suspicion.” The policy raised concerns for the harm it caused to the Black and Hispanic communities through racial profiling and was found to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution by a federal judge.
While law enforcement make the majority of arrests, you can also be wrongfully arrested by private security guards.
Remedies for a false arrest can include:
- Making a formal complaint of police misconduct with the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB)
- Filing a lawsuit against the arresting officer and his or her department that seeks an injunction and/or compensation for damages
- Filing a legal motion to throw out any evidence that was obtained through the false arrest
Complaints filed with the CCRB can be for “excessive force, abuse of authority, discourtesy or offensive language.” Monetary damages in a false arrest lawsuit may include medical expenses, lost wages or income, mental distress, and the violation of your civil rights.