Pursuing a False Imprisonment or False Arrest Lawsuit in Los Angeles

Posted By V. James DeSimone Law || 23-May-2018

police arrestOnce you’ve been falsely arrested and/or falsely imprisoned, not only could you be traumatized and embarrassed, but when a case is publicly recorded, your social and professional reputation may also be tarnished. Because of the false arrest, (even if you were later found not-guilty of the suspected offense), others may still view you as a criminal.

A common claim against police officers, or sometimes business owners or individuals,in Los Angeles is for false arrest. For an arrest to be legal, there must be “probable cause” for the arrest. In other words, facts and evidence must be available that would lead a reasonable person to assume that a crime has been committed.

And under California law, a person or business can be liable for false arrest or civil rights violation even when they are not acting under color of state law. Sometimes even if the police arrest you, it is the business owner or person who caused the arrest who could be liable for the harm caused and attorneys fees.

While we depend on the police to keep the public safe, some officers unlawfully exceed the limits of their power and violate a citizen’s constitutional rights. For instance, when a person is arrested because they were mistaken for someone else (mistaken identity), their civil rights may have been violated if certain circumstances exist. Or when a police officer arrests someone who has not committed a crime simply to harass them, this is obviously a false arrest. We would urge you to call the office of V. James DeSimone at 310-693-5561 to discuss the facts of your matter.

While the police are given considerable power in the performance of their job, federal and state laws also limit those powers. When a citizen’s rights are violated by the police through such unlawful conduct, they are protected by a federal law enacted in 1871, which was originally intended to protect the rights of African Americans during the post-Civil War Reconstruction.  

“…section 1983 of title 42 of the U.S. Code that makes a person liable for depriving another of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the U.S. Constitution and laws while acting under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage of a state.” https://dictionary.findlaw.com/definition/section-1983.html

This law is important because when it’s violated by government officials, it entitles a citizen to sue that individual or their agency and recover money damages and attorneys fees through a civil court proceeding.

Under California law, while false arrest and false imprisonment cover slightly different conduct by police, the courts consider them to be one “tort” (or one actionable reason) to file a lawsuit. In other words, even if you were both falsely arrested and falsely imprisoned, you can sue as if only one unlawful event occurred.

If you’ve been the victim of a false arrest and/or false imprisonment, you may be entitled to both compensation for any direct financial losses you incurred, attorneys fees and punitive damages against the police officer who harmed.

The V. James DeSimone team of attorneys takes violations of citizen’s rights very seriously, and when we take on a case, we bring to the fight the skills and resources necessary to take on the police, backed by our 30+ years of experience achieving justice and full and fair compensation for our clients.

To learn more about what you should do if your civil rights were violated, a V. James DeSimone lawyer will meet with you at no cost, respectfully listen to what happened, and evaluate whether you may be able to bring action against a police officer or their agency.
Call V. James DeSimone today at 310-693-5561 to begin the fight to win your legal case to receive monetary compensation for the harm done to you.

Categories: Civil Rights