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What should you do if you are falsely arrested?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | False Arrest/False Imprisonment

Any encounter with police officers may make people feel nervous. Almost everyone has heard a story about officers becoming too aggressive or targeting the wrong person. Sometimes, overly-generic descriptions of suspects and the personal biases of individual officers can contribute to very unfortunate situations.

When police officers rush to the wrong conclusions, someone who did not break the law might face an inappropriate arrest. They might even end up in state custody because of the mistakes or misconduct of law enforcement professionals. Someone who knows that they did not break the law may panic when they face false arrest.

After all, they probably realize that a false arrest often leads to false imprisonment. What should someone do when they believe that a police officer is likely about to arrest them falsely?

Calm compliance is the key to personal protection

The first instinct of someone facing false arrest by a police officer might be to fight back. Someone may try arguing with an officer to explain that they did not break the law. Occasionally, that disagreement may lead to a physical confrontation.

Someone who otherwise did not break the law might end up accused of unlawfully resisting arrest or assaulting a police officer depending on what happens. Even though it can be frightening, those facing false arrest typically need to stay as calm as possible and comply with an officer’s requests.

They may try inquiring about whether the officer has a warrant or what gives them probable cause to conduct an arrest. However, even verbally probing an officer’s choices can worsen a situation. Anything they view as non-compliance can sometimes lead to officers becoming inappropriately aggressive.

The party facing arrest may need to listen instead of talking so that they can glean as much information as possible about the situation. As soon as they are able, they likely need to assert their rights to legal representation. Someone wrongly taken into state custody in New York can call a criminal defense attorney to help them address the situation.

Depending on what transpired, those falsely arrested and then falsely imprisoned may have grounds to take legal action. Reacting appropriately in a scenario involving a police department misconduct can help someone avoid injury and may help them hold a police officer or Police Department accountable later.