For the most part, the NYPD is good at what it does — enforcing the law to keep innocent civilians safe. However, law enforcement agencies are made up of human beings and unfortunately, errors in judgment do occur. One of the most common of these errors is false arrest cases, which make up 6.8% of misconduct cases filed against police departments. These instances, regardless of the reasons, can have serious effects on the innocent arrestees, including not only practical effects such as missed work time, but also emotional and/or psychological distress.
When Can a Police Officer Arrest a Civilian in NY?
There are only a few reasons for which a police officer can legally arrest a civilian.
- If there is a warrant out for the arrest of the civilian
- If there is probable cause to indicate that the civilian has committed a crime
- If the civilian is disrupting or interfering with a police investigation and/or arrest
- If a police officer reasonably suspects that a civilian is a criminal attempting to flee the scene of a crime.
However, in New York, there is a loophole: the notorious stop-and-frisk policy. This policy allows NYPD officers to have a much lower standard for probable cause, meaning that they can legally stop and even pat down innocent pedestrians, usually doing so in areas with high crime rates. It is important to note that this controversial law does not override the need for police officers to be justified in their searching and potentially arresting civilians.
If You Are Falsely Arrested
If you find yourself in a situation of being arrested for a crime you did not commit, or if you do not believe that the officer had the legal right to stop and question you in the first place, you may be able to sue the NYPD for damages. While some citizens may be hesitant to stand up for themselves in this type of situation, the NYPD, like every government institution, needs to remain accountable to American citizens. Therefore, do not feel as if you are in the wrong for seeking recompense from the NYPD, especially if your false arrest was due to bias or gross negligence on the part of the arresting officer.
Get in Touch with an Experienced Lawyer
Suing the NYPD for a false arrest is a complex and time-sensitive matter. You will need someone at your side who understands and has experience with the intricacies of New York laws. Therefore, call me, Jason Steinberger, and I will discuss your case with you. My number is 646-256-1007, and you can reach me day or night, 24/7. Also, I offer an initial consultation, free of charge, so that we can discuss the basics of your case together. I look forward to speaking with you about your false arrest case.