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Wrongful Arrest, False Imprisonment and Compensation

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A wrongful arrest, also known as a false arrest or unlawful arrest, occurs when a person has been held without proper legal authority. This type of arrest can be committed by police officers and private security companies when they arrest or detain someone without probable cause. Victims of unlawful arrest may file for damages in a civil court, but they will need to hire a lawyer who specializes in false arrest lawsuits.

Wrongful Arrest and False Imprisonment

Wrongful arrest and false imprisonment are interchangeable in some cases. For example, if a police officer wrongfully arrests and detains someone than false imprisonment and false arrest may be committed at the same time; likewise, if a security guard wrongly accuses someone of shoplifting and detains them until the police arrive than the security guard may have committed false arrest (or a false citizen’s arrest) and false imprisonment.

However, in some instances false imprisonment may occur without false arrest. In these cases, an individual is unlawfully restricting a person from movement – and many of these cases are associated with domestic violence or assault incidences. For example, a woman’s partner prevents her from leaving the home when she wants to leave – her partner could be charged with false imprisonment but not false arrest.

Compensation for a Wrongful Arrest

Victims of an unlawful arrest may sue the offending party to receive compensation for the costs associated with the arrest – and they may also fight to have the arrest removed from their record. However, compensation for the arrest will need to be handled in a civil court and the victim will need a lawyer to challenge the arrest and argue for the compensation amount.

If a wrongful arrest has occurred – time is of the essence. A statute of limitations restricts the amount of time a person can wait before they file a civil suit against their arrest, so it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible if you – or someone you know – has been the victim of a false arrest. If lawyer fees are a concern, many lawyers will take the case for a predetermined percentage of the future settlement award.

*The information in this article does not constitute legal advice. Please contact a legal professional in your local area for the best up-to-date and accurate legal advice.

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