Wrongful Arrest Attorney in Seattle, Washington
There are few things in life more disheartening than being accused of something you weren't actually responsible for. When something like this happens, your honor and credibility are on the line and you’re forced to fight against an unsubstantiated allegation. When this happens in the form of a wrongful arrest, the stakes are even higher because you could be facing real consequences if you’re unsuccessful in proving a false arrest.
If this has happened to you and you’d like to learn more about filing a wrongful arrest lawsuit, contact me today at The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III. No one should have to go through a wrongful arrest alone. I’m able to represent clients in and around Seattle, including all of Western Washington, such as the Puget Sound Area, Bellevue, Tacoma, and Everett.
What Qualifies as Wrongful Arrest?
A wrongful arrest happens when someone is detained or arrested and the detainer has not followed the proper legal channels or did not have probable cause. This can occur under several different circumstances. It may happen when a suspected shoplifter is held against their will at a store while police are called in, when the wrong person is arrested (mistaken identity), when a person is arrested without first being read their Miranda rights, when an arrest or detainment is made due to racial profiling, or an arrest purely due to malice from the arresting officer.
Elements Needed to Prove a False Arrest
Proving that a false arrest occurred can be complicated depending on the circumstances of your case. To mount a successful defense, you’ll need to prove that the arresting officer (or whoever made the arrest) intended to detain you or confine you, that you were aware the detention was happening and you did not consent to it, and that there was no legal justification for the detention or arrest, meaning the officer didn’t have probable cause.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Wrongful Arrest?
Central in cases like this is answering the question, “Who is liable for a wrongful arrest?” Essentially, whoever was responsible for detaining you unlawfully may be held legally liable for their actions. This could be a police officer or a citizen such as a shopkeeper or store owner. This person could then be charged with a crime, held liable for civil damages, or lose their job.
Filing a Wrongful Arrest Suit
Filing a wrongful arrest lawsuit is the best way to seek justice after an event like this, but you should only do so with the assistance of an experienced civil rights attorney. Anyone who’s been the victim of a false arrest has standing to bring forward a claim like this, but it can be difficult to mount a successful case. This is because you’re typically going up against police officers who will have a team of lawyers working for them and they may be protected by qualified immunity, which can shield law enforcement officers from claims like this.
Possible Damages Available
The damages available in a wrongful arrest lawsuit will depend on a few factors. For example, you may be able to sue for lost wages (if the arrest resulted in jail time), property damages, medical expenses, embarrassment, damage to your reputation, emotional distress, or pain and suffering. These are complex cases. Since many of the damages you pursue are non-economic (ex. pain and suffering), you’ll need a skilled lawyer working on your behalf.
Wrongful Arrest Attorney
Serving Seattle, Washington
If you’re in the Seattle, Washington area and would like to discuss your options for civil litigation regarding a wrongful arrest, reach out to me at The Law Office of Dan N. Fiorito III. I’m ready to help you uphold your rights and move forward.