False Arrest and Imprisonment

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution gives every person the fundamental 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…

At times, however, the administration of law enforcement becomes subject to abuse by police authority and results in unlawful arrests and or unlawful detainment of innocent civilians.  This is a violation of the civil rights of every person, as codified in statute and known as Section 1983 of Title 42 of the United Stated Code.

An arrest must either be based upon a warrant or upon probable cause. Often law enforcement execute arrests based upon probable as opposed to a warrant, which requires a judge to issue, because it is a readily process (and affords more time on the speedy trial requirement).  Usually, in New York City, a police officer or detective can request the issuance of Investigation Card, known as the I-Card, for the arrest of a suspect.  The I-Card is a “want” for an individual.  The I-Card may want the individual for questioning or arrest.

The I-Card is predicated upon probable cause.  For probable cause to exist, a police officer must have sufficient knowledge of facts to warrant a belief that a suspect is committing a crime. The belief must be based on factual evidence, not just on suspicion.  While many factors contribute to a police officer’s level of authority in a given situation, probable cause requires facts or evidence that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a suspect has committed a crime.

Always be cooperative with police orders, but you have the right to ask why you are being questioned (whether as a witness or suspect) and the basis of why you are stopped or apprehended.  Moreover, you have the absolute right not to talk at all and to also request an attorney.

If an arrest is based upon probable cause and there was no probable cause, the arrest (and any ensuing detainment) was unlawful and a violation of the person’s constitutional and statutory rights, deserving of redress and compensation.  A lawsuit may be brought is State or Federal Court.

Michael Manoussos & Co PLLC, a “superb” New York City personal injury law firm, understands and has prosecuted police misconduct cases. We are Multi-Million Dollar Advocates who fight hard for victims of injustice.


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