What It Means To Be Falsely Arrested, And What You Can Do About It

A false arrest occurs when you are wrongfully taken into custody. It can be done by a law enforcement official or a regular person when they go beyond their authority, and can give you a reason to sue them for damages. Here is what you need to know in case it happens to you.

What Is A False Arrest?

When another person restricts your personal freedom against your consent, it is considered a false arrest or imprisonment. While kidnapping can be considered a form of false arrest, kidnapping usually involved the threat of harm or a ransom. A false arrest will not have those elements.

While a false arrest is often associated with law enforcement, it can also be done by private citizens that are stepping outside their boundaries by detaining you against your will.

Can A False Arrest Happen Based On Bad Evidence?

Do not be confused by an arrest that happened due to a law enforcement official having bad evidence. For example, someone may accuse you of a crime that later turns out to be a lie. That situation would not be considered a false arrest, and you could actually sue the person that falsely accused you if you suffered any harm due to the arrest.

False arrests by the police can only happen if they are exceeding their powers by acting without authority.

Can A Security Guard Arrest Me?

A security guard that works for a private security company can falsely arrest you if they act without any lawful authority. Without probable cause, you cannot be detained. They must believe that you committed some sort of crime, and can lawfully detain you until the police arrive.

An example of a situation where a security guard falsely arrests you would be if you were walking out of a store and detained for shoplifting without any probable cause. The situation may involve the security guard using unnecessary force without asking for your consent to cooperate, or threatened to use force to get you to cooperate.

Can I Seek Damages If I Was Falsely Arrested?

Damages from a false arrest may not be physical, but emotional damages such as humiliation are important too. The actions of another person caused unnecessary harm to you, and you have the right to receive compensation.

The offender of a false arrest runs the risk of being found guilty of criminal charges by the state, but you have the option to sue for civil charges. For more information, contact Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices or a similar firm.