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Staten Island False Arrest

Before a police officer can arrest a person, they must have probable cause to do so. This means that they must believe that the person committed a crime or is about to commit a crime. The belief must be based on evidence. It can’t be based on the person “looking guilty.” If the police do not have probable cause, but go ahead and arrest the person anyway, the officer would have committed police misconduct. Like excessive force and coercing a confession, making a false arrest is a type of police misconduct. When police engage in misconduct, the victim has the right to hold that officer and the police department liable for damages. If you or someone you love was falsely arrested, immediately contact an experienced Staten Island false arrest lawyer at the Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With a track record of winning significant compensation for victims, we are here to help.

Probable Cause

For an arrest to be an unlawful false arrest, the arresting officer must not have had probable cause. Probable cause means that the officer has reason to believe that the person committed a crime or was about to commit a crime. A hunch or gut feeling does not amount to a reasonable belief. There must be some evidence that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the person that the police arrested committed a crime. For example, if a police officer witnesses the person commit a crime, the police officer would have probable cause to arrest that person. Information from an informant may also be sufficient to make a lawful arrest.

The police can also lawfully arrest someone if they have an arrest warrant. Note that to get an arrest warrant from a judge, the police must have presented the judge evidence that amounts to probable cause that the subject of the arrest warrant committed a crime or is about to commit a crime. However, arrest warrants can be challenged. If you believe that the arrest warrant was not lawfully obtained, contact an experienced Staten Island false arrest lawyer to discuss your case.


When the police and other law enforcement officials abuse their power, they can be held accountable. Victims can seek compensation for what the officer put them through. A false arrest can not only be humiliating, it can also lead to demonstrable economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are out-of-pocket expenses that the victim of false arrest suffered. For example, if the victim was physically injured during the arrest or while in custody by the police or by an inmate, the victim can demand compensation for medical bills related to the injuries. Note that if the injuries were caused by the police, the victim may also have a claim for excessive force.

The victim may also be entitled to lost wages. Being arrested and thrown in jail would likely mean that the suspect missed work. The victim could sue not only for lost wages, but for lost benefits, missed bonuses, and other lost opportunities at work.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are subjective losses that are not related to out-of-pocket expenses. These damages are related to the emotional impact of being falsely arrested. It is not surprising and is foreseeable that someone who is stopped and arrested for no reason would experience fear, humiliation, and frustration. This emotional impact can be long-lasting and impact the victim’s home life, work life, and relationships. An experienced false arrest attorney in Staten Island can help you compile evidence of how the arrest impacted your emotional well-being and relationships.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are awarded to victims to punish the defendants for their outrageous behavior. Because a false arrest is a significant abuse of power, punitive damages are often awarded in false arrest cases.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

A false arrest can profoundly impact the life of the victim. If you have been falsely arrested, the experienced false arrest attorneys serving Staten Island at Stephen Bilkis & Associates will aggressively fight for your rights to receive justice and the maximum compensation for damages you suffered. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent victims of police misconduct in Staten Island, Bronx, Nassau County, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester County, and Suffolk County.

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