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An unlawful arrest is a kind of false imprisonment that no one wants to experience in their lifetime. Any time an unlawful arrest happens, false imprisonment is sure to follow. And unfortunately, someone may have suffered harm from being wrongfully arrested. 

If this has happened to you, then you are entitled to filing a false arrest lawsuit against those who are accountable. From a legal perspective, an arrest can start off legal but can lead to wrongful imprisonment. 

This is a direct violation of your civil rights – here’s what you need to know in order to build a strong case.

What to Know About an Unlawful Arrest

Despite the fact that the law differs in every jurisdiction, there are still general rules applicable to anyone when it comes to getting arrested. 

The first rule of thumb: the person under arrest has to be informed that they are being arrested. If a private citizen is arresting someone, then they must also tell the person they are being arrested unless the citizen is in danger or the person under arrest may escape. If a police officer is making the arrest, then their badge or uniform must be clear enough to inform the person that they are under arrest. 

It is not considered an unlawful arrest if a private citizen or police officer tells the person being arrested what they are under arrest for. The only loophole is if telling the person that they are under arrest can lead to an escape or make the situation more dangerous. Either way, it is not considered a wrongful arrest if these rules are followed. 

However, if a police officer makes the arrest due to a warrant, the person under arrest must be shown the warrant. And if a private citizen is making the arrest under a warrant, they must inform the person under arrest of the reasons whether they ask to see the warrant or not. Violating any of these rules is subject to a false arrest lawsuit. 

More on Arrests Using Warrants

A warrant is a legal process encapsulated in an official document. It must be issued by an official body, such as a court, in order to make a legal arrest. Arrest warrants are usually due to criminal charges, but it could also be related to guardianship issues or mental health. 

The person making the arrest will not be sued in court if the warrant is valid. However, if the warrant fails to include the name of the court or officiator, the name or description of the person under arrest, and the cause of the arrest, this is a violation of rights. And in some cases, additional information will need to be provided to validate the warrant. 

The person under arrest can file for a false arrest lawsuit if the arresting law enforcement (or private citizen) recklessly or intentionally omit information or purposely provides false information on the warrant. 

Protect Yourself from an Unlawful Arrest

In order for an arrest to be lawful, the general rules listed above must be followed. If you are wrongfully arrested, consider filing a false arrest lawsuit and learn more about your rights.

For additional help, contact us and find out how to handle an unlawful arrest the right way!

The Law Office of Chad Van Brunt
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