What is False Arrest and Can I Sue for Damages?
An arrest is when a person is apprehended and taken into custody; it requires probable cause. A false arrest is when a person is held against their will or taken into custody without consent or a legal justification. When a person is falsely arrested, they may be able to bring a civil claim for damages under tort law. Note that many false arrests are carried out by store managers, mall security guards and others who are not police officers.
A false arrest is considered an intentional tort, which means that the accused knew of and wanted the consequences of their actions.
If you were the victim of false arrest, contact an experienced local personal injury attorney. The lawyer can review the details of your situation and discuss your legal rights. If the attorney takes your case, they will work to negotiate a fair settlement or jury award for your damages.
Proving an intentional tort
In order to prove an intentional tort, the plaintiff will need to show that the defendant’s conduct went above and beyond simple carelessness or negligence. It must be proved that the defendant intentionally restrained the plaintiff.
Awareness of confinement:
In order to recover damages, the plaintiff will need to show that they were aware of the confinement at the time it happened. Defendant’s may argue that the plaintiff was too intoxicated or drugged to be aware of being confined. Note that the plaintiff does not need to know that their arrest wasn’t legal when it was happening but if they consented to be arrested because they thought it was legal, they will not be able to sue to recover damages for false arrest.
Was there a legal basis for the arrest?
A defendant will attempt to prove that there was a legal basis for the arrest they made, such as reasonable suspicion of a crime being committed, or a warrant or court order. This means that a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would have had cause to believe that the plaintiff was committing a crime before they arrested them or that they had a legal warrant/court order for their arrest.
Can police officers be sued for false arrest?
This means that in order to sue a police officer for false arrest, a personal injury attorney would have to prove that the police officer knew or that a reasonable police officer would have known that the arrest was not in accordance with a valid statute.
Seek the help of a personal injury attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced injury attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!