A wrongful arrest, also known as a false arrest, is one that is made illegally. As a plaintiff, you can argue that you were held in custody illegally or without cause. A wrongful arrest can also lead to false imprisonment.
It is possible to challenge an unlawful arrest, but you need to be clear about what happened during the process. For instance, what were you doing at the time of the arrest? Did the officer observe a crime? Did they tell you that you had the right to remain silent? Were you searched without consent? These are all questions your attorney will ask and need answers to.
It is your attorney’s job and wish to make sure you are not penalized for actions you did not commit and that any penalties you do face are fair. An arrest is typically lawful when an officer has obtained a warrant, has probable cause or witnesses a crime. An officer cannot approach you on the street with no reasoning and place you under arrest.
What should you do if you are told you’re under arrest?
You have a right to stay silent to protect yourself. It is usually in your best interests to do as the officers say, so you’re not charged for resisting arrest; however, you can ask what the arrest is for and to ask if the officer has probable cause or a warrant for your arrest. Once you’re taken to the police station, you are generally able to place a phone call; you should contact your attorney to take steps to free yourself.