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False Arrest

False Arrest

We as citizens have given police officers the awesome power to make arrests and to use force to effect those arrests. In order to make an arrest, a police officer must have probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that the person arrested committed the crime. When police officers make an arrest, oftentimes the probable cause for the arrest is based on simply the officers’ word against yours. Police have a natural advantage in court against a criminal defendant because they are trained to testify and have experience and relationships with prosecutors.

When someone is acquitted of a crime or the criminal case is thrown out in court, the defendant may be able to bring a false arrest lawsuit against the police officers if the person was falsely arrested. Even through someone was acquitted or beat their criminal case, the police have a natural advantage in fighting false arrest lawsuits. This is because not only are police trained to testify and experienced in court, they also had the ability to start shaping the narrative about the circumstances involving your arrest before you you were even charged with a crime. Police officers have the opportunity to write official reports about what you allegedly did wrong that document the arrest for future reference. Police can write things that you said (or didn’t say) and write things that you did (or didn’t do).

If you were acquitted at trial or your case was thrown out, you may be able to bring a false arrest lawsuit. The law on false arrest is complicated, and proving a false arrest case often requires going up against trained police officers, a powerful police force that backs them, and skilled government attorneys, so it is no easy task.

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