Wrongful Arrest Attorney Chicago
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By Dean Caras.
The job of law enforcement officers is to keep the peace and ensure the safety of all citizens, but just like anyone else they are capable of making mistakes. Even in cases where law enforcement officers are not present, private security officers or other citizens carrying out an arrest without probable cause, may provide you with grounds for filing a wrongful arrest lawsuit. Some examples of wrongful arrest include: an officer planting evidence in an attempt to place guilt on you, being handcuffed at a traffic stop because an officer wants to search your car without probable cause, and being arrested because you were coerced into confessing to a crime you did not commit.
If you believe you have been subject to wrongful arrest, contact Caras Law Group today. Attorney Dean Caras and his associates have successfully handled many cases of wrongful arrest and will work to make sure justice is obtained.
Probable cause to arrest is an absolute defense to any claim…for wrongful attest, false imprisonment or malicious prosecution, even if the defendant officers or store security are alleged to have acted maliciously or for a racially biased reason. [Mustafa v. City of Chicago, 442 F.3d 544, 547 (7th Cir. 2006); see also Kelley v. Myler, 149 F.3d 641, 646 (7th Cir. 1998).]
Officers and store security have probable cause to arrest an individual if the facts available at the time of the arrest are sufficient to allow a reasonable person to honestly believe that the individual has committed an offense. See Chelios v. Heavener, 520 F.3d 678, 686 (7th Cir. 2004). The key to such actions rest on the basis that the actions were carried out in honesty. If the police or store security are found to have blatantly lied or tampered with evidence, you have valid reasons to file a lawsuit against those individuals.
Although probable cause is often a mixed question of law and fact, it becomes a question of law when the undisputed facts are sufficient to create probable cause. [Ornelas v. United States, 517 U.S. 690 (1996).]
An identification or report from a credible victim or eyewitness, without more, can provide a basis for probable cause. [See Woods v. City of Chicago, 234 F.3d 979, 996 (7th Cir. 2000).”] However, the victim or witness must have an honest belief that a crime was committed. If the victim or witness lied and legal action was taken against you, you may be the victim of a wrongful arrest case.
Police Misconduct – $2,300,000 verdict for a police officer who was falsely and maliciously prosecuted based on a personal grudge. Plaintiff worked part time as a security guard at a bank and was accused by a fellow police officer of clocking in at the bank and then leaving. However, bank representatives denied that the officer had done anything wrong. The police department went ahead with arresting and charging this officer as well as suspending him without pay. Plaintiff was acquitted of all criminal charges in October 2007 but the police department would not allow him to return to his job. Through our efforts we were able to uncover that in fact, it was one officer who falsely accused our client due to a personal grudge against him.
Wrongful Shoplifting Charges – During the last year our office has recovered large sums for three separate clients that were wrongfully accused of shoplifting at Jewel, Dominick’s, and The Westin. All three of these clients were wrongfully charged by the store security personnel of stealing items less than $5. All three clients were found not guilty in the criminal trials brought by the store owners and they contacted our office. We filed lawsuits and were able to prove that the store security personnel acted wrongfully and without cause and all of our clients recovered rewards from the store owners up to $50,000 in each instance.