False arrest occurs when someone physically detains another person without the legal right to do so. Being arrested for a crime you did not commit can be a terrifying experience. Sometimes the arrest is due to incorrect information, while other times it can be the result of malicious prosecution. Regardless, we understand what you are going through and are here to help.


To prove a false arrest claim, you must show both of the following:

That you were unlawfully restrained against your will.
That the restraint was unreasonable under the circumstances.


An arrest is not unlawful if the police have probable cause to believe that you committed a crime. If an officer arrests you based on false witness statements that the officer did not have reason to know were false at the time of the arrest, probable cause existed to support the arrest. On the other hand, if you suspect your arrest is based on racial profiling, or you were arrested without a warrant, you may recover on your claim.


Damages for someone who has been under false arrest could include:

Compensation for loss of income
Physical injuries
Damage to reputation
Reasonable and necessary expenses incurred
Deprivation of rights 
Humiliations, fright, and shame

Types of Cases

False Arrest Committed by Police: To be guilty of false arrest, the police must act without authority, or beyond the scope of their powers. For example, suppose a police officer arrests someone because that person insulted the officer or did something the officer didn’t like. Insulting an officer is not a crime, and unless that officer has another reason to make an arrest, he is acting illegally.

False Arrest Committed by Private Persons: A private person, such as a private security guard, can also commit the crime of false arrest. Anyone who restrains someone else, without that person’s consent, and without lawful authority, commits the crime of false arrest. Private security guards can temporarily detain someone suspected of theft in order to investigate the situation or hold that person until the police arrive if they are reasonably certain that the person is shoplifting. If they aren’t certain and don’t have probable cause to believe someone has committed a crime, however, they cannot lawfully detain someone.

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If you have been affected by unfair trade practices and believe you have a unfair trade practice case, please contact Scarritt Law Group today.