Alabama False Arrest Lawyer
The 4th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a central feature of the Bill of Rights, protects people from “unreasonable searches and seizures.” In addition to prohibiting unreasonable arrests (seizures), the 4th amendment requires warrants to be supported by probable cause before they can be issued. These prohibitions apply to the federal government as well as state governments through the due process clause of the 14th amendment.
Persons subject to false and warrantless arrests may be able to sue the government when their civil rights have been violated. A federal law known as section 1983 allows lawsuits for money damages for deprivation of constitutional rights by persons acting under color of state law, which includes false arrests by police officers. Alabama false arrest lawyer Alan Lasseter helps victims of false arrest or malicious prosecution recover compensation for the harm done to them by these illegal government actions.
False arrest – being taken into custody and held against your will without a warrant or probable cause – is not only a crime, but it is also a civil wrong entitling you to recover compensation if you are successful proving your case. The harm caused by a false arrest can be significant. You can lose your job, get evicted from your apartment, lose respect in the community and suffer marital and family problems, not to mention the economic consequences of fighting the charges against you.
While you may be able to recover compensation for these harms and others, including emotional distress and in some cases punitive damages, false arrest claims can be difficult to prove. There are often strict administrative timelines and procedures which must be followed, and the immunity from lawsuits enjoyed by police officers and police departments can be a significant hurdle to overcome. Attorney Alan Lasseter has over 20 years of experience fighting police misconduct in Alabama. Contact the Lasseter Law Firm in Birmingham if any of the following apply to you:
- You were arrested for a crime you did not commit
- You were arrested based on a warrant that was falsely obtained
- You were arrested based on your race or ethnicity
- You were arrested based on malice or personal motives against you
- You were arrested for another’s personal gain
- You were arrested by the police to cover up their use of excessive force in an encounter with you
When a criminal case is either begun or continued against a person without reasonable grounds to believe that the charges against the defendant are true, the individual may bring a civil claim for malicious prosecution. In order to prove a malicious prosecution case, one must be able to prove that the prosecution was brought for some reason other than a desire to obtain a judgment in the proceeding. For instance, one could demonstrate that the prosecution was started for a reason such as the following:
- An attempt to harm one’s reputation
- An attempt to place the blame for a crime on another person
- An attempt to cover up for police brutality or other police misconduct
In order to be successful in a malicious prosecution civil case, the person must be successful in defending the criminal charges against him or her. Someone convicted of the crime charged cannot bring a civil case for malicious prosecution.
A victim of malicious prosecution may also have a civil claim for false imprisonment if the individual was first detained without the proper legal process before being formally charged with a crime. Once arraigned (for an improper motive), a malicious prosecution claim arises as well.
Compensation for a malicious prosecution can include the attorney’s fees expended to defend against the criminal charges, as well as other legal damages such as lost wages or job loss, damage to reputation, and pain and suffering damages.
Help is Available after a False Arrest in Alabama
If you have been the victim of a false arrest or malicious prosecution in Alabama, call the Lasseter Law Firm at 205-458-1212 for a free and confidential consultation with a dedicated and successful Alabama false arrest lawyer.