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Polinske & Associates, P.C.

False Arrest Claims Versus the Police

If you believe you have been falsely arrested for an offense by a police officer you may have a constitutional deprivation claim against the police and the department that officer works for.  Normally such a suit is brought against the police officer individually via a Section 1983 claim alleging false arrest.  The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prevents unreasonable searches and seizures.  This prohibition prevents officers from subjecting persons to unwarranted arrests. 

In Illinois a person has two years after the alleged wrong occured within which to file such a claim.  The elements of such a claim are that the person was arrested without probable cause and suffered damages therefrom.  Normally a person will have emotional distress claims and sometimes physical injuries stated as damages.  Sometimes loss of employment is a damage suffered.  Section 1983 claims are a straightforward manner to address such damages.  A successful party is entitled to attorney's fees in addtion to damages.  The fact that attorney's fees may be awarded is a significant factor in causing many of these suits to be settled well before trial. 

A routine pattern seen leading to such a claim is where a person is arrested and charged by the police for an offense wherein the police officer is the primary witness against him.  One example is a DUI suspect who shows no signs of intoxication.  I have represented a gentleman who was arrested for DUI, was not given a standardized set of "field sobriety tests" and passed the breath test at the station.  The officer should have allowed the man to leave without charges being filed against him.  However, in that case the man was charged, had to post bail to be released, hire a defense attorney, and had his vehicle towed at his expense.  We settled the claim after lawsuit was filed. 

If you believe you have been subjected to a wrongful arrest contact a qualified attorney to analyze whether your case merits filing such a lawsuit.
 

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