Being arrested is a frightening experience, and to find out that it may have been done illegally or outside of proper protocol can be even more upsetting. Here’s how to know if you may have been wrongfully arrested and how to get legal help after being charged with a crime.
What Is False Arrest?
A false arrest occurs when a police officer arrests you and takes you into custody without probable cause or a warrant that a judge has issued for your arrest. Probable cause is the reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred based on observable evidence. This may or may not include search and seizure. If you were arrested without probable cause, you may be the victim of a false arrest.
4th Amendment Laws
The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you against wrongful arrest. It states that individuals have the
“right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Source
Elements of a Wrongful Arrest
There are generally three requirements to prove that a wrongful arrest has occurred:
- The police officer used force or their authority to restrain you.
- You were not free to leave, either because the officer told you or because you physically were not able to due to being handcuffed, locked in a room, etc.
- The law enforcement officer knowingly arrested you without the probable cause necessary to do so legally.
If the officer asked you to come with them, or you volunteered, you may have a difficult time proving your false arrest case.
How a False Arrest Can Impact Your Criminal Case
If you were falsely arrested, you may be able to have the charges brought against you dismissed. This means that because the officer did not follow proper protocol when arresting you, you cannot be charged for the crime. However, you must be able to establish that the officer who took you into custody did so illegally.
Charged with a Crime? Contact an Experienced Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you were arrested and you believe it was without probable cause, don’t hesitate to get help from a criminal defense attorney. Contact Llinas Law today for a consultation at 860-530-1871.