How Do I Prove a Wrongful Arrest Claim in NYC?

How Do I Prove a Wrongful Arrest Claim in NYC?

Arrests can be made without a warrant if the police officer has probable cause, or reasonable suspicion, that you have committed a crime. However, this does not always mean an arrest is lawful. Wrongful arrests occur when the police use excessive force, arrest someone without probable cause, or unlawfully detain a person. Fortunately, there are legal remedies available to those who have suffered from such unjust arrests. To prove an unlawful arrest in New York City, it must be demonstrated by these set of rules.

No Probable Cause Existed

It must be shown that the arrest was made without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. This can be difficult to prove, as the officer’s subjective state of mind is almost impossible to ascertain. However, if other factors such as conflicting evidence, unreliable witnesses, or a lack of physical evidence can be presented, this adds to your case. It’s important to keep track of all the details involved in the arrest. 

Excessive Force was Used

In some cases, an officer may have the right reason and still use excessive force while making an arrest. Excessive force includes any action taken by police officers during the arrest that exceeds the scope of necessary force to effectuate an arrest. This can include using unnecessary physical force, threatening an arrestee with weapons, or even verbal abuse. These types of actions can be damaging to your physical and emotional self so it’s best to understand what type of force was being used.

Unlawful Detention Occurred

Police officers are not allowed to detain someone without probable cause for an unreasonable period. This doesn’t apply only to police, but also to private security agents, too. If someone is detained for longer than the typical duration, they may have a legal remedy by way of false arrest. They need to detain you legally and let you know your rights.

What makes an Arrest Legal?

For an arrest to be considered legal, the police officer must have a good reason to believe that a crime was committed. This means they cannot simply arrest someone on a hunch—there must be some evidence or facts that would lead them to believe the person is guilty of a crime. If they have a good reason to believe that you are a criminal fleeing the scene of a crime, or if you interfere with an arrest or police investigation, then they may legally arrest you. Finally, if a person is detained for any amount of time, the police officer must explain why they are being detained and inform them of their rights. This includes advising the person that they do not have to answer any questions beyond providing basic identification information.

Filing a Lawsuit

If your arrest did not meet any of the elements listed above, you may have a legal remedy. To pursue an unlawful arrest claim in any state, you must file a civil lawsuit against the police officer or department that made the arrest. The lawsuit should include evidence of your wrongful arrest as well as any damages suffered because of it. These can include physical injuries, emotional distress, and even reputational harm. If the suit is successful, you may be awarded damages in the form of financial compensation.


It is important to remember that any successful wrongful arrest claim requires evidence and proof. If you believe your rights were violated during an arrest, contact an attorney who can help you pursue justice. Additionally, if your claim is successful, it’s likely to result in policy changes that are designed to prevent similar unjust arrests from occurring in the future. Make sure you understand your rights and how you were being treated at the time of your arrest. It can help to build you a solid case.


»How Do I Prove a Wrongful Arrest Claim in NYC?«

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