Santa Rosa False Arrest and Unlawful Detention Lawyer
Law enforcement can act outside the scope of their duties when they falsely arrest or unlawfully detain you. If you or a loved one were subjected to a false arrest or unreasonable detention, the Santa Rosa false arrest and unlawful detention lawyer at the Law Office of Kasra Parsad may be able to help you recover financially. We can help with the legal process by answering your claims-related questions and helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.
The Fourth Amendment Protects Against False Arrests and Unlawful Detentions
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right of the people of their person, house, papers, and effects, from unreasonable seizures by the government. This means that if the government wants to restrict our liberty of movement, they must have a warrant supported by probable cause, subject to certain exceptions. The Fourth Amendment in its entirety states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Violations of the Fourth Amendment can happen when a person is unlawfully detained or falsely arrested. If you were unlawfully detained or falsely arrested by the government, and incriminating evidence was found as a result, our Santa Rosa false arrest and unlawful detention lawyer may be able to file a motion to suppress the illegally obtained evidence or a civil rights lawsuit if you suffered injuries as a result of the unreasonable seizure.
Unlawful Detentions and False Arrests
Unlawful detentions and false arrests are a form of police misconduct. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from unreasonable seizures. If you were detained or arrested by an officer, you were “seized” within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment because the government restricted your liberty of movement. Encounters with the police fall into three categories:
1) Consensual Encounters – Law enforcement can approach a person wherever and whenever to speak about whatever. These are not detentions. The individual approached by an officer is free to leave and can terminate the encounter whenever they want. Because consensual encounters are not detentions, they are not “seizures” within the Fourth Amendment.
2) Detentions – A detention is a brief, momentary encounter that allows an officer to question you and in some situations search you for weapons. To be detained, an officer must have reasonable suspicion you committed a crime. Reasonable suspicion is more than a hunch and requires the officer to articulate some facts that criminal activity is afoot and you were involved. Most detentions take the form of a traffic stop or stop-and-frisk. A detention is a “seizure” within the Fourth Amendment.
3) Arrest – An arrest is when an officer uses their legal authority to deprive a person of their freedom of movement. This usually involves being handcuffed and brought to jail. To make an arrest, an officer needs probable cause, which means, it was more likely than not that the person arrested committed a crime. An arrest is a “seizure” within the Fourth Amendment.
A false arrest happens when law enforcement deprives someone’s freedom of movement and did not have the legal authority to do so. In other words, the officer did not have probable cause to make the arrest or the arrest warrant they had was invalid. A person subject to a false arrest may also be wrongfully detained in jail for some time.
Unlawful detentions and false arrests are both unreasonable seizures that violate a person’s Fourth Amendment Rights. A detention or arrest can be unlawful when:
- The arrest was invalid and the officer knew it
- The detention was unreasonably long
- The officer used excessive force during the arrest or detention
- There was no probable cause to arrest you
- The officer did not have reasonable suspicion to detain you
Suppress Evidence Seized From an Unlawful Seizure
Evidence seized by the government is admissible against you in court. But if an arrest or detention is unlawful at its inception, any subsequent search is also unlawful, which means any evidence seized was obtained unlawfully. Evidence obtained by law enforcement through an unlawful seizure is inadmissible in court. In these situations, our Santa Rosa false arrest and unlawful detention lawyer can file a Penal Code section 1538.5 motion to suppress the illegally obtained evidence in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights. If granted, this leaves the prosecution with little evidence to support the criminal charges against you and may lead to a dismissal of the charges.
If you were subject to an unlawful seizure where evidence was obtained against you in a criminal prosecution, contact our Santa Rosa Civil Rights attorney to determine whether filing a motion to suppress would be a viable claim.
A Civil Rights Lawsuit Can Remedy a False Arrest or Unlawful Detention
You may be able to file a civil rights lawsuit if you suffered injuries from a false arrest or unlawful detention. Our Santa Rosa civil rights attorney can file a section 1983 lawsuit for violations of your civil rights in federal court, or a Tom Bane Civil Rights Act lawsuit for violation of your civil rights in California state court.
What Damages Can I Recover?
Like personal injury lawsuits, victims of police misconduct are entitled to compensation. These damages can be characterized as economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include
- Past/future medical expenses – If the victim suffered a physical injury during the unlawful seizure, they can demand compensation for medical bills related to those injuries
- Lost past income – if an unlawful seizure leads to confinement, even for a short period, a victim may suffer lost wages if they were not able to go to work. They may have even lost their jobs if they were ultimately held for an extended period or if their employer learns of their arrest. The victim can sue for lost wages and benefits, and any other substantial employment-related losses.
- Decreased ability to earn income in the future – An arrest or detention may show on a criminal background check, even if the arrest or detention was later determined to be unlawful. This can impact a victim’s ability to find employment or advance in their career.
- Household help, services, and expenses
- Property damage
Noneconomic damages account for:
- The extent and nature of the injury
- Disability, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental, physicalm and emotional pain and suffering – Being falsely arrested and having to deal with the criminal justice system can be emotionally damaging. The victim can demand compensation for the emotional suffering.
- Lost companionship between parent and child
How Can a Santa Rosa Civil Rights Lawyer Help?
Law enforcement has a tough job. They live to serve and protect. Sadly, they do not follow their promise all the time. At our firm, we believe you and your family should not have to accept having your person or property unlawfully seized. You and your loved ones deserve justice, answer, closure, and the right compensation when government unlawfully restricts your freedom of movement and unlawfully detains or arrests you. The Law Office of Kasra Parsad can help explain the requirements and guide you throughout the process. As soon as possible, you’ll want to contact our Santa Rosa civil rights attorney to assess your options. You never know how a competent lawyer may be able to help you, so there is nothing to lose by getting in touch with our office. Our complimentary consultation comes at no cost and we work diligently on your behalf.
What We Do