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Bronx False Arrest

False arrest occurs when a police officer or other law enforcement officer place someone under arrest without lawful justification. Law enforcement may arrest someone only if they have probable cause or a valid arrest warrant. Otherwise, the officer would have violated departmental rules and would have violated the rights of the person they arrested. This means that the person falsely arrested—the victim, may have a civil cause of action against the arresting officer. In fact, victims of false arrest can demand compensation for the emotional distress, humiliation, and any other losses they suffered as a result of the false arrest. If you believe that the officer who arrested you did not have probable cause, contact an experienced Bronx false arrest lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over 20 years of experience, we understand the requirements for making a lawful arrest and are committed to helping the victims of wrongful actions by the police.

Making an Arrest

The concept of a false arrest can be confusing. While the police do have a lot of power when it comes to maintaining order in the community, there are rules that they must follow. When they make an arrest, they must have a good, lawful reason to do so. This does not mean that the person they arrest must be guilty of a crime. It does mean that the police must have a good reason to believe that the person committed a crime or is about to commit a crime. The fact that the person may ultimately be acquitted does not mean that the arrest was wrongful.

For an arrest to be lawful,

  • The arresting officer must have a good reason to believe that the person committed a crime or is attempting commit a crime (probably cause), or
  • The person must be getting in the way of a legitimate police investigation or arrest, or
  • The police must have a lawfully obtained arrest warrant, or
  • The police must reasonably believe the person is a criminal trying to flee the scene of a crime.

While the fact that the person arrested is ultimately acquitted does not mean that the arrest was wrongful, the district attorney declining to press charges or the charges quickly being dismissed may signal that there may be questions related to the legality of arrest. An experienced Bronx false arrest lawyer can help you determine whether to pursue legal action for false arrest.

Compensation for a False Arrest

A false arrest is not only a type of police misconduct, it is a violation of the victim’s civil rights. Police who are responsible for false arrests must be held accountable. First, they should be reprimanded by their superiors. Second, they must be required to pay damages to their victims. Victims of police misconduct can be sued. If the victim prevails, the would be entitled to receive compensation for the losses they suffered and for the officer’s wrongful actions. As an experienced false arrest attorney in the Bronx will explain, the amount and types of damages awarded for a false arrest vary from case to case. They can include:

  • Personal injury
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Inconvenience
  • Punitive damages

Note that filing a claim against police department such as the NYPD or another law enforcement agency means that you are suing the government. There are special rules related to suing the government, including a very short statute of limitations. It is critical to move quickly with your claim.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If the police or other law enforcement official violated your rights, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. False arrest is serious. It is important that you have an experienced false arrest attorney serving the Bronx on your side fighting for you. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent victims of police misconduct in the Bronx, Nassau County, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Staten Island, Westchester County, and Suffolk County.

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