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You May Be Eligible for Compensation Following a False Arrest

Santa Fe civil rights lawyer explains false arrest claims

In his experience as a Santa Fe civil rights lawyer, Richard A. "Rick" Sandoval sees that most people find encounters with the police to be unnerving even when the encounter is routine, like a traffic stop, and even when they have done nothing wrong. Most of the time, these encounters are uneventful. Sometimes, though, these encounters go wrong and an individual may be subjected to a false arrest. If you are a victim of a false arrest leading to emotional or physical injuries, a false arrest lawyer can help you recover the compensation you deserve. 

What conduct constitutes a false arrest?

A false arrest is an arrest made without legal authority or based on a false assertion of legal authority. Thus, for example, an arrest based on an invalid warrant or an expired warrant will sustain a claim for false arrest. If the police arrest the wrong person or arrest a person without probable cause, this too would constitute a false arrest. 

An arrest made without probable cause also may raise constitutional issues, as it violates the individuals Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable seizures. If, however, at the time of the arrest, the officer had probable cause to believe the person arrested had committed or was committing crime, even if that belief was mistaken, then the arrest is not unconstitutional (though it still may support a civil rights action for false arrest under state law).

What are the remedies for a false arrest?

If you are the victim of a false arrest, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the harm you suffered as a result of the arrest, including lost wages; damage to your reputation; and emotional distress (e.g., fear, anxiety, and embarrassment). You may also be able to recover punitive damages (compensation awarded to a victim for the purpose of punishing the wrongdoer), if you can establish that the officer acted with malice or ill will.

What conduct constitutes false imprisonment?

Closely related to (and sometimes used interchangeably with) a claim for false arrest is a claim for false imprisonment. To state a claim for false imprisonment, the victim must establish that the detention was (a) intentional; (b) against his or her will; and (c) in violation of the law. In the case of a police detention, the detention is unlawful if the individual is held without probable cause. Physical force is not necessary to establish false imprisonment; a person may be confined by fear, intimidation, threats, or a physical barrier (e.g., a locked door). 

Contact Santa Fe civil rights lawyer, Richard Rick Sandoval

Police officers sometimes make mistakes, but you do not have to be a silent victim of those mistakes. If you believe that you were falsely arrested or imprisoned, talk with an experienced Santa Fe civil rights lawyer about your legal options. If you would like to schedule a time to meet with me, please call me, at 505.795.7790 or 1-866-BEST LAWYER (1-866-237-8529), to schedule a free consultation.

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