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False Arrests

Each year, thousands of innocent people are arrested for crimes they did not commit. One way in which someone falsely arrested may seek justice is by bringing a claim of false arrest in civil court against the police officers who made the arrest. In order to establish a claim for false arrest a person must establish that (1) the police officers intended to arrest them; (2) the person was conscious of the arrest; (3) they did not consent to the arrest and (4) that the arrest was not otherwise privileged. An arrest may be privileged if the person is either guilty or the police officer had “Probable Cause” to make the arrest. Probable cause for an arrest exists if a reasonable police officer would have believed that a person had committed or was committing an offense.

When an arrest is made in New York City there are several documents which are generated by the arresting officer. These documents include an Arrest Report, UF-61 Complaint report, a Criminal Complaint, Property Vouchers and often a Stop and Frisk Report. In addition, the arresting officer is required to document the arrest in his or her memo book. In order to successfully litigate a false arrest claim, it is critical to have an attorney who understands these documents and knows how to interpret them. As a result of litigating false arrest claims for decades the attorneys at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf have a thorough understanding of how to use the police’s own documents to support a claim of false arrest.

It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the false arrest has occurred. Many municipalities, such as the City of New York, require that a “Notice of Claim” be given to the municipality after a claimed false arrest occurs. Typically a Notice of Claim must be provided to the municipality within ninety days from when the false arrest occurred. The Notice of Claim provides basic information to the municipality, including the date and time of the false arrest, as well as the circumstances surrounding it. If a Notice of Claim is not timely filed, it is possible that the person may be barred from bringing certain claims related to the false arrest against the municipality.

If you or a family member has been arrested for a crime they did not commit, it may be possible to bring a claim against the arresting police officers for false arrest. Please contact the attorneys at Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf and speak with our civil rights attorneys today.

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