Though it sounds like a criminal matter, you can take action against law enforcement using civil law. Unfortunately, filing a lawsuit against law enforcement is not easy and it's not easy to win such cases when they do make it to trial. If you have suffered damages due to false arrest, read below and find out more.
Was There Cause to Arrest You?
For a person to be arrested, probable cause must be present. That simply means that law enforcement believed a crime was committed by you. If you want to protest law enforcement's actions, you should be ready to show that law enforcement did not have probable cause to arrest you. Probable cause is one of those vague terms that can be difficult to define. Your personal injury lawyer might show that law enforcement failed to properly investigate a crime, that they acted on false information, or that they failed to verify your identity prior to the arrest.
How Do People Get Arrested?
There is more than one way to end up behind bars. Often, arrests occur suddenly at the scene. For example, if law enforcement comes upon two individuals fighting, they might make an arrest after a very quick investigation. Another example of this type of arrest is when someone is stopped and arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). Arrests occur at the scene after some field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests.
The second way to be arrested is when an investigation has been initiated and carried out by law enforcement detectives. For example, law enforcement might investigate a so-called "drug house" for weeks – gathering evidence and preparing to strike. When they have enough evidence, detectives prepare an affidavit asking the judge to approve of a warrant for arrests (or a warrant to enter a premises).
The final way to be arrested is faster than the second way but a bit slower than the first way. A judge issues the warrant for an arrest based on a phone call. Often, this way indicates an emergency situation where lives are in danger if a suspect is allowed to remain free.
What is Needed to Win Your Case
It's not enough to think you are innocent after an arrest. You must prove the below elements are present:
- You suffered harm. That might be any type of harm, such as physical, financial, personal, reputation, or with your employment.
- As mentioned above, probable cause must exist.
- Finally, you must have been found innocent of the charges or released with the charges dropped.
Speak to a personal injury lawyer to find out more.