New York City False Arrest Lawyer
A police officer’s badge does not give the officer carte blanche to arrest any person on a whim or impulse or because he doesn’t like the way the person looks or dresses or the color of the person’s skin. While it is a fundamental civil right, a New York City false arrest attorney knows that an officer oversteps boundaries far too often to make an unjustified arrest.
New York City police can legally make an arrest if:
- They have an arrest warrant,
- They have probable cause to believe that the person committed a particular crime, or
- They have a good reason to believe the person is a criminal trying to flee the crime scene, or
- If the person is interfering with a legitimate police investigation or arrest.
False Arrest Numbers
Although most arrests are carried out appropriately, false arrests, which are arrests that don’t meet any of the above criteria, happen fairly frequently. A study by the Cato Institute in 2010 found that 6.8 percent of all police misconduct complaints are of false arrest. Because many improper arrests are never reported, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg.
Common Situations in Which False Arrests Occur in New York
Many false arrest occur in conjunction with New York’s controversial “stop and frisk” policy, which allows police to stop and frisk a person they reasonably suspect to have committed a crime or to be about to commit one. Unfortunately, this policy has opened up the potential for racial profiling. In 2015.
- Police stopped and frisked 22,939 people.
- Of these, 18,353 or 80 percent were absolutely innocent.
- 12,223 of those stopped were black;
- 6,598 or 29 percent of those stopped were Latino;
- Only 11 percent—2,567—were white.
Another situation that too often results in false arrest is a traffic stop in New York City. A police officer cannot just pull over drivers randomly; they driver must have done something illegal. A driver who is pulled over without cause and then arrested or imprisoned may be entitled to file a claim to recover damages for false arrest.
In many cases, a person who is wrongly arrested never really knows the reason the arrest occurred.
The Fallout of a False Arrest and Your Legal Rights
Any arrest is stressful, inconvenient, time-consuming, costly, and often frightening. This is even more true when the victim of a false arrest is completely innocent of any crime. If you have been stopped and detained without discernible cause and ultimately your case is dismissed, the prosecutor declines to prosecute, or you are acquitted, you should consult a New York City civil liberties attorney to see if you have a case for false arrest.
False arrest cases are brought in civil court and are rarely easy. Even if the charges are dropped or you are acquitted, if the police can show that they had any reasonable cause to believe you were involved in a crime, you might not have a case. And then there is the fact that police enjoy immunity from prosecution for actions performed within the scope of their employment, as long as the behavior was reasonable under the circumstances.
On the other hand, if you can show that the arrest was arbitrary, discriminatory, malicious, or the result of racial profiling, if you are represented by a good New York City false arrest attorney, you may be able to recover money for your damages.
Getting Legal Help when You’ve Been Wrongfully Arrested
It may seem a daunting prospect to go up against the police department, which has the force of the government’s authority behind them. Opposing a government agency has special rules and complexities that other civil cases lack. While they are often extremely difficult, they can be won, and you may well succeed in winning substantial compensation for your economic, physical, and emotional damages. When the arrest can be shown to be especially malicious, the jury may also award you punitive damages, an extra amount designed not as compensation for your losses but as punishment for the officer (s) who were responsible.
Hold Police Accountable & Call a New York City False Arrest Attorney
It is important to hold the law enforcement accountable for any official police misconduct in New York City, whether it is false arrest or any other civil rights violation or wrongdoing. Because they have been given the authority to enforce the law does not mean that they are above the law, although some officers use the badge for precisely that purpose. A New York City false arrest attorney knows they must be held accountable for overstepping their bounds and harming innocent citizens, whose civil rights are guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
If you have been a victim of false arrest, and especially if you have been held in jail for more than 24 hours without being informed of the reason, call the law offices of civil rights attorney Jon Norinsberg, a New York police brutality lawyer with more than 25 years of legal experience, Jon is aggressive and committed to upholding the Constitution and ensuring that justice is served—even if it means standing up to the power of the police department and the city government. The sooner you call attorney Jon Norinsberg, the sooner we can begin the detailed investigation that your case requires. Legal time limits are in effect; a delay could damage your case, so call now.