In the United States of America, citizens have rights. Just because a right is enshrined in the constitution, however, doesn’t mean it won’t sometimes be violated, as one New York City man found out recently.
A financial planner was arrested by an NYPD officer for charges of pickpocketing, but it turns out that the officer lied in the complaint that was filed. He was caught making the false arrest but has yet to face any charges.
This is just one example demonstrating how false arrests happen. Even if you think they’ll never happen to you, they can. That’s why it’s critical to understand what a false arrest is and what you should do if it happens to you. Read on to find out more.
What Is a New York False Arrest?
Both federal and state laws protect citizens in the United States from unjust or false arrest, but it can still happen. An arrest is considered false if someone (not just a police officer) detains someone else against their will or without legal justification or probable cause.
The above are the basic criteria that must be met for false arrest, but there are elements that must be proven in court to show you were held against your will.
There Must Be Intention
You must also prove that the person who confined you did so with intention. That’s to say, they knew they were detaining you. If someone is holding you without realizing they are doing so or by accident, then it won’t qualify as a false arrest.
A Detainee Must Be Conscious
You must also be conscious when the detainment took place. Often, people are arrested when they’re intoxicated and in an effort to protect a person from harming themselves or others. When someone is detained while they are unconscious, then it’s more difficult to prove the arrest was false.
Not Turning Yourself In
Another element that may seem intuitive to the whole idea of false arrest is that you cannot turn yourself in and then claim that you’re being held against your will. If not one else is responsible for your arrest, then it’s going to be very difficult to convince a judge that you were arrested falsely.
No Justification for an Arrest
This is perhaps the most important element of a false arrest – there must be no justification for the arrest. If there’s a warrant out for your arrest or some other justification for you to be detained, then the officer has reasonable grounds for detaining you.
This also includes the idea of probable cause. If there is evidence that you’ve committed a crime, then that’s probable cause that justifies an arrest. However, an officer will need to provide connections between you and the crime committed in order to hold you.
What You Can Do in New York
If you find yourself falsely arrested for something, then it can seem like a daunting task to take on the police – but that’s exactly what you should do.
If it can be shown that an arrest was malicious, the result of an issue such as racial profiling, discriminatory, or arbitrary, then you may have a case. You need an experienced attorney to help you pursue your case through the courts and seek justice.
Being falsely arrested is serious, but that’s exactly why everyone should understand why they’re being arrested and if they’re being held by authorities – and for what. Your rights matter. Don’t let time run out.