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Wrongful Arrest

A common question if you are arrested for a Crime you did not commit is ‘Can I sue the police for Wrongful Arrest?’ Yes, you can sue police for wrongful arrest if they do not follow strict guidelines on how you should be treated.

We are often involved in challenging the Police’s decision to arrest.

Police can arrest you anywhere - whether that is your home, workplace or on the street. But for an arrest to be lawful police first must have reasonable grounds to believe you are involved in a crime.

If you are arrested, Police must always:

  • Inform you that they are the police.
  • Explain that you are under arrest.
  • Tell you what crime they are arresting you for.
  • Tell you why it is necessary to arrest you.
  • Explain to you that you are detained and may not leave.

Only if you try and run away or become violent should Police use ‘reasonable force’ during an arrest such as pinning you down or using approved holds. The Police may also handcuff you.

If Police fail to follow these rules it may be a Wrongful Arrest and you may be entitled to sue.

Following on from a False Arrest, you may also be able to sue for Wrongful Imprisonment. 

Even if you are never charged with a Crime following your arrest, you can still sue for Wrongful Arrest.

If you are arrested but not charged or if charges are dropped, you do not have a criminal record.

Although you would not have a criminal record the very fact of an arrest can sometimes be disclosed by Police. The details of the arrest may have been kept by police as criminal intelligence. This information will not be disclosed on basic DBS checks but it may well be on an enhanced check.

Police do have the discretion to disclose arrested and not charged information for some enhanced background checks despite not having a criminal record. This underlines the importance of knowing whether the arrest was lawful.

In wrongful arrest cases, the burden of proof lies on the Police – they must prove they were acting lawfully and you do not have to prove they were not. People are sometimes arrested because they were misidentified by either the police or a witness but if the arresting officer honestly believed you were the right person, this is a defence for the Police against being sued for wrongful arrest.

If you believe you’ve been the victim of Wrongful Arrest, please get in touch with us today.