Fighting Back Against False Arrests
In our fast world, thinking legal authority is always right is just a fantasy. Sadly, we often hear stories about police officers not acting fairly or even against the law while doing their job.
In Texas, they need a solid reason, or probable cause, before police can arrest someone. This means they must have reliable information that makes the arrest reasonable. But because this rule can be understood in different ways, some police officers misuse it and make unfair arrests.
A false arrest happens when someone in authority holds another person without a good reason. This could be when they don’t have the right permission (e.g., an arrest warrant or probable cause) to do so, which may have violated your Fourth Amendment rights. False arrest is also called false imprisonment and is usually seen as a misdemeanor.
Is it Possible to File a Lawsuit Against the Police for False Arrests?
Police officers have a lot of power given to them by the government. Adorned with badges and armed with firearms, they possess the capability to effectuate arrests. But this power comes with a rule to follow. That’s why all police official swears an oath to follow the law and the Constitution of the United States.
Police officers are responsible for making sure people follow the law and arresting individuals who might have committed a crime. Police must follow specific rules and not do unauthorized things. If a Detroit police officer violates someone’s Fourth Amendment rights, they could be responsible for false imprisonment.
Elements of False Arrests
False arrests mean a police officer did it without having the right or going beyond what they’re allowed to do. This might involve:
- Unlawful Detention: The person must have been stopped from leaving or held in a way that took away their ability to be free.
- Lack of Legal Justification: The arrest was made without a valid warrant, probable cause, or a situation that urgently needed an arrest without permission.
- Awareness of Lack of Authority: The person who is doing the arrest, whether they are a police officer or just a regular person, needs to know or should have known that they didn’t have the legal power to make the arrest.
Make a Claim for a False Arrest?
You can sue for wrongful arrest even if you’re accused but not charged, as long as your rights were violated. You can take legal action against the police for locking you up without reason or using too much force.
Know your rights to win your case, you need to prove that you were held without a good reason. Police can arrest you with a good reason, a court warrant, or if a crime is happening.
There are different time limits to make a claim. You have 12 months from the arrest date for human rights violations, three years for carelessness and violence, and six years for wrongful imprisonment. But it’s best to start your claim as soon as possible while the memories are fresh.
Official Oppression (Class A Misdemeanor): punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
- Texas Penal Code Section 39.03 defines official oppression as a public servant (including law enforcement officers) intentionally subjecting another person to physical force, arrest, detention, or any other action that he or she knows is unlawful.
False Imprisonment (Class A or B Misdemeanor or State Jail Felony): It can be a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $4,000. If certain aggravating factors are present, it can be charged as a Class B misdemeanor or a state jail felony, which carries higher penalties.
- Depending on the circumstances, false imprisonment charges can vary. False imprisonment occurs when one person intentionally confines another person without their consent and without legal justification.
Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!
If you believe you were unlawfully arrested, it’s a good idea to talk to our team of criminal defense quickly. When you take legal steps, you might have a chance to get money for what you went through and also make sure the police don’t treat others unfairly in the future. It’s a way to stand up for your rights and help prevent wrongful actions by the police.