Member of:
Justia Lawyer Rating
American Association for Justice
Union Plus

Manhattan False Arrest

It may come as a surprise that police officers can’t arrest anyone at any time. Before a police officer can make an arrest, they must have probable cause to do so. Otherwise, they would have violated the person’s constitutional rights. Not only would the officer be subject to departmental discipline for misconduct, they may also be civilly liable to the victim and required to pay damages. If you were the victim of police misconduct due to a false arrest, you have the right to seek justice. Contact an experienced Manhattan false arrest lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates to discuss your case. With over 20 years of experience, we can help ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Probable Cause

The Fourth Amendment of the United State Constitution requires that a police officer must have probable cause before they can make an arrest. This means that the police must have had a reasonable belief that the person had committed a crime or is in the process of committing a crime before they can legally arrest them. This also means that if the police know for a fact that the person did not commit a crime or if they do not have a reasonable belief that the person committed a crime, the police do not have the legal right to arrest.

However, not every seemingly wrongful arrest is actionable. For there to be a claim for false arrest the following elements must have been present:

  1. A police officer or other law enforcement official must have arrested you, i.e. they must have stopped you and confined you.
  2. You must have been aware that you were confined.
  3. You must not have consented to the confinement.
  4. The confinement was not privileged, i.e. there was no probable cause.

It may not be clear to you whether or not your arrest was lawful. If you are concerned that your arrest was wrongful, consult with an experienced Manhattan false arrest lawyer who will review the facts of your case to determine if you were falsely arrested and help determine your options.


Victims of false arrest by the police have the right to sue the arresting officer as well as the police department to demand justice in the form of compensation. When someone is arrested, the process is humiliating and it is time-consuming. It can even be dangerous, as victims of false arrest can be injured during the arrest process or while they are in custody. False arrest victims who are thrown in jail may be assaulted or even sexually assaulted by other inmates.

By filing a civil lawsuit, victims of police misconduct can demand compensation for their injuries and other losses.

  • Lost wages. Going through the arrest process and being thrown in jail is time-consuming. In fact, in New York it can take up to 72 hours before an arraignment hearing. This mean that the victim may miss at least 3 days of work. The victim can sue for those 3 days of wages as well as for lost benefits, bonuses, and loss of other work-related compensation. If the victim is fired from their job because of the arrest, then that is a compensable loss as well.
  • Emotional suffering. It is not surprising that the victim of a false arrest suffers emotionally. Being the victim of a false arrest or any type of police misconduct is traumatic, humiliating, and frustrating. Part of the compensation to which victims may be entitled can include compensation for emotional suffering.
  • Medical bills. Being arrested and spending time in jail puts the victim at risk for being physically assaulted by other, violent inmates. Whether the false arrest victim was injured during the arrest process or while being held in jail, the lawsuit can include a demand for compensation for medical bills related to the injuries as well as for pain and suffering based on both physical pain and psychological suffering. An experienced false arrest attorney serving Manhattan will help you assemble proof of the losses you suffered to help ensure you receive maximum compensation.
  • Punitive damages. You may also be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the police officer and police department responsible for the false arrest. They can be significant as they are also designed to deter others from engaging in the same bad conduct.
Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you or someone you love was the victim of a false arrest, you have the right to file a civil claim against the officer as well as the agency that was responsible for the arrest. Under federal and state law, those whose rights were violated can hold those responsible financially liable for damages resulting from their actions. Contact the experienced false arrest attorneys in Manhattan at Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent victims in the Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, Nassau County, Westchester County, and Suffolk County.

Client Reviews
My wife and I met under some unconventional circumstances. After I had some legal problems, Mr Bilkis and his firm continually got me out of trouble. I then had his firm represented my wife and he got her out of trouble! We are still married and got our ways straightened away. We both can't thank him enough for saving our lives and our families! J.P.
I contacted Stephen Bilkis' office for an issue regarding a family member and I could not be happier with the results. I have recommended the firm to friends and family, all of whom were also ecstatic with Mr. Bilkis and all members of his staff. P.R.
I was in need of legal assistance for a very sensitive matter for a family member. I contacted the law offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC and was met with staff whose demeanor was supportive, compassionate and professional. The lawyer handling our case had many years of experience and treated us as if we were his own family. Our experience was so good, and we became so close to all of the staff and all of the attorneys who assisted us, that we consider them our extended family and continue to send them our home baked gifts for the holidays. P.A.K.
I hired Stephen Bilkis and Associates to represent me on a legal matter a few months ago and am grateful for their swift action and resolution on my behalf. I was impressed with their professionalism and would recommend them to friends and family in a heartbeat. M.B.