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Detroit Legal Blog

Can You Sue the Police for a False Arrest?

Mar 09, 2022, by Maurice Davis in Criminal Defense
Man in plaid shirt being arrested

Although police make arrests frequently, that doesn’t mean they have the power to do so without due cause. False arrests can hinder your career and future opportunities.

When your civil rights have been violated from a false arrest, you may be able to take legal action for any damages you suffered. Explore your legal options further when you contact an experienced civil rights attorney at Davis Law Group for help.

What Is a False Arrest?

A false arrest occurs when police or law enforcement officials do not have the justification for taking you into custody. They must have probable cause to prevent you from exercising your rights. When police attempt to arrest you without probable cause or a warrant, they operate outside of their legal authority.

False arrests can be a terrifying experience for the victim. Suppose you are the victim of a false arrest. In that case, you may have the right to pursue a civil action against the Michigan state police, local police departments, individual police officers, and other third parties.

Legal Actions for Falsely Arrested Individuals

When you have been a victim of a false arrest, several legal options may be available to you. These include:

  • Filing a lawsuit against an individual officer and their respective police department demanding injunctions
  • Making a complaint against the arresting officer with your local police department
  • Filing a lawsuit against an individual officer and their respective police department demanding financial compensation
  • Filing a motion to suppress evidence obtained through a false arrest

Filing an initial complaint with the local police department demanding injunctions could result in the suspension, retraining, or termination of an officer as well as other criminal charges.

Depending on the specific details of your case, you may be interested in filing a false arrest civil rights lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Qualified Immunity Laws

If you pursue a civil claim, you need to know that qualified immunity laws may protect law enforcement officials. Qualified immunity protects law enforcement officials accused of misconduct that might occur in the line of duty. Overcoming this defense will be essential for your lawyer to recover maximum compensation.

What Damages Can You Recover After a False Arrest in Michigan?

The impact a false arrest can have on your life can be long-lasting. Fortunately, you will have the right to be compensated for every way your life has been impacted.

It is not uncommon for people who have been falsely arrested to lose their job or miss out on a significant amount of income while incarcerated.

Economic Damages

Other types of financial losses you could recover in your Michigan false arrest claim include:

Non-Economic Damages

You also have the right to be compensated for non-economic damages. Your reputation may have been destroyed, you may have trouble finding a good job or safe housing, and you may face other damages, such as:

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the court finds the defendant’s actions were abhorrent, reprehensible, or grossly negligent.

If law enforcement officials in your case engage in these types of behaviors, the Michigan civil courts have the authority to impose this additional punishment.

To learn more about what your false arrest claim could be worth, be sure to contact your civil rights attorney at Davis Law Group for help.

Contact a Michigan Civil Rights Attorney Today

If you believe that you were falsely arrested and you are interested in learning more about how you can hold law enforcement accountable for their misconduct, reach out to an experienced Michigan civil rights attorney at Davis Law Group.

Schedule your confidential case evaluation today when you complete our online contact form or call our office at 313-818-3238.