Police officers are supposed to enforce our laws in order to protect the innocent and keep our streets safe. Unfortunately, they can be just as susceptible to making mistakes as any other citizen. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits unlawful arrest. If you have been unlawfully arrested or falsely accused, you cannot afford to be without a knowledgeable civil rights attorney.
Minnesota Civil Rights Attorney
As a civil rights attorney practicing in Minnesota and beyond, I hold police responsible for violating people's constitutional rights. I have helped secure millions of dollars for victims of police misconduct, and few lawyers in Minnesota are as dedicated to pursuing justice for those who have had their civil rights violated.
What is unlawful arrest by police officers?
An unlawful arrest, also known as false arrest, occurs when someone is held or detained against their will by law enforcement without proper legal authority or justification. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects citizens against unreasonable seizures, which includes protection against unlawful arrest.
Here is a more detailed explanation of unlawful arrest:
1. Lack of Probable Cause: Probable cause is a reasonable belief, based on facts or evidence, that a person has committed a crime. It's the standard by which a police officer has the grounds to make an arrest, to conduct a personal or property search, or to obtain a warrant. If an officer makes an arrest without probable cause, it may be considered an unlawful arrest.
2. Arrest Without a Warrant: In most cases, law enforcement officers must obtain a warrant before arresting someone. To get a warrant, they need to convince a judge that there is probable cause that the person committed a crime. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if a crime is committed in the officer's presence or if the officer has a reasonable belief that the suspect poses a danger to others or will flee to avoid arrest, a warrantless arrest may be lawful. If an arrest is made without a warrant and none of the exceptions apply, it may be considered an unlawful arrest.
3. Exceeding Arrest Powers: Law enforcement officers have specific powers and limitations when it comes to arresting individuals. For example, they may use reasonable force to make an arrest, but they cannot use excessive force. If officers exceed their powers, the arrest may be considered unlawful.
4. Arrest Based on Discrimination: If an arrest is made based on an individual's race, gender, nationality, religion, or other protected characteristic, it may be considered an unlawful arrest.
An unlawful arrest can lead to both criminal and civil consequences for law enforcement officers, including potential criminal charges, civil liability for damages, and disciplinary action.
The person who was unlawfully arrested may have several remedies available. They may be able to suppress any evidence obtained as a result of the unlawful arrest, which can lead to the dismissal of criminal charges. They may also be able to file a civil lawsuit for damages, including for physical harm, emotional distress, and damage to their reputation.
Given the complexity of the law relating to unlawful arrest, individuals should consult with legal counsel to understand their rights and obligations.