What is a false arrest?

An arrest can be a very scary experience. It can leave a person deeply worried about their well-being and future. Thankfully, this is not something that police can subject individuals to for just any reason. There are rules police are supposed to follow when it comes to the making of arrests.

Unfortunately, these rules aren’t always followed. Sometimes, police make arrests without proper grounds for doing so. Such unlawful arrests are referred to as false arrests. Victims of false arrests may have legal actions they can take in response to what they were subjected to.

When is an arrest “false”? Typically, the main question is whether police had probable cause to make the arrest. Generally, arrests made without probable cause are unlawful false arrests.

Probable cause touches on whether the information police had at the time of the arrest was sufficient to support a reasonable belief that there was criminal activity. As a note, generally, the information police relied on doesn’t ultimately have to prove to be correct as long as police thought it to be accurate at the time.

So, when claims are made that an arrest was false, a central issue can be what evidence is available regarding whether or not the arresting officers had probable cause for their actions. The gathering and analysis of such evidence can be a very complex matter. Skilled civil rights attorneys can assist individuals who suspect they were subjected to a false arrest with navigating such issues and other aspects of protecting their rights and pursuing justice.

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