Have you been held against your will by law enforcement in the State of California? If you have been arrested or detained by a security guard or a police officer, despite being innocent of any criminal activity, it is crucial to get in contact with a skilled, California criminal defense attorney who can help you decide if you should pursue legal action. Being held against one’s will is known in California as a “false arrest.”
Defining false arrest
The legal definition of a “false arrest” is when an individual, typically a police officer, arrests another person without legal authority to make the arrest, and it is done without probably cause. If that person is taken into police custody, often placed in a jail cell, then the situation immediately is known as “false imprisonment.”
What is probable cause?
If an arrest is made, the person who made the arrest must have had probable cause to do so. Probable cause exists if there are sufficient facts to believe that the person arrested has committed or was committing an offense. When deciding if probable cause existed, a judge or jury will consider if the actions of the defendant would have lead a police officer to believe he or she did commit a crime and should be detained. The guilt of the defendant typically does not matter when determining if there was probable cause. Typically, however, a police officer does need to have some evidence linking an individual to a crime before arresting him or her. Again, if there is no evidence, and a probably cause is lacking, a false arrest may have taken place.
When to appeal?
Perhaps your case already has moved through the legal process, and you have already been convicted of a crime. However, if you believe the officer who arrested you did so without proper authority, a criminal defense attorney can still fight on your behalf to get the case or conviction overturned on an appeal. It is not too late! To appeal, the attorney will be sure the arresting officer did not have probable cause to detain you. He or she also will look into if the arrest took place without an arrest warrant. Before making an appeal for a “false arrest” in California, the criminal defense lawyer also will see if the arrest violated the state’s search and seizure laws. If the defense attorney, after conducting his or her own research, does believe a false arrest took place, an appeal most likely will be made to fight for justice.
An appeal is your right
An appeal in California gives someone the chance to petition a higher court to examine the previous court records to see if any errors occurred, which could include a false arrest. Under California law, an individual has the right to appeal the outcome of a jury or a judge’s guilty verdict. To appeal, one must file a notice of appeal typically within 60 days of the date of the sentencing. Appealing on the grounds of a false arrest, is a common grounds for an appeal in California. Contact The Law Office of Peter Blair to discuss your case, which may have involved a false arrest.