Friday, August 10, 2012

Suing Police for False Arrest and Police Brutality

If I was arrested and charged with a crime I didn’t commit, and the case was dismissed, can I sue the police officer/police department?

The answer to this question is, “Probably.”  Allow me to explain.

Let me start by saying that there are a lot of great police officers out there.  The good ones do a dangerous job for little pay, just because they want to give back to their communities.  We applaud the good ones.  But not all of them are good ones.  Some police officers abuse their authority and engage in false arrests and police brutality.  The sad part, is when they abuse their authority, most citizens are basically helpless against them. 

If you have been charged with a crime you didn’t commit, and the criminal case ended favorably for you, get a good Louisville police brutality lawyer on your side.  You may be able to sue to recover damages for your pain and suffering, lost wages, attorney’s fees, and possibly punitive damages.

Jury trial “Not Guilty” verdict:

There are a couple of ways for a criminal case to end favorably for you.  If you went to a jury trial and were found Not Guilty, congratulations!  It is fairly easy to move forward with a civil case after a Not Guilty verdict is returned.  You don’t need to worry about the “stipulation of probable cause” section that is to follow.  You should see an attorney immediately about your possible civil case against the officer/police department.  A good Louisville false arrest lawyer can help you determine whether you have a case, depending on whether the police officer had Probable Cause to arrest you.  You can feel free to skip to the “meeting with an attorney about your civil case” section.

Stipulation of probable cause:

If you have a current criminal case against you, please be advised that if you stipulate probable cause for your arrest, it can negatively affect your possible civil case against the officer/police department.  Often, if a prosecutor agrees to recommend dismissing your case, they will want you to agree to stipulate probable cause for the arrest.  This means that you agree that the officer had the right to arrest you at the time of the arrest.  If you agree, and stipulate probable cause, it can make things very difficult in a civil case against the officer/police department - especially if your case is for false arrest, rather than police brutality.  You may even have difficulty getting past Summary Judgment.  If a judge grants Summary Judgment against you, your civil case will be dismissed.

In short, a stipulation of probable cause in a criminal case can be very damaging to your possible false arrest case.  If your primary concern is to pursue a false arrest case, you should not stipulate probable cause for the arrest.

Police Brutality

Unfortunately Police Brutality is a serious problem in the great Commonwealth of Kentucky.  There are a lot of good police officers out there.  But the ones that abuse their authority and subject citizens to police brutality should be punished.  That’s where a good Louisville police brutality lawyer comes in handy.  If you were the victim of police brutality, you may have a civil case against the police officer, the police department, and/or the local government.  Police brutality is a separate claim from false arrest.  If a police officer arrested you, even if they had probable cause for the arrest, and the police officer used more force than reasonable and necessary to effectuate the arrest, you may be entitled to damages for police brutality.

Meeting with an attorney about your civil case:

Most attorneys will not charge you for an initial consultation.  We will sit down with you, hear your story, and make a determination as to whether we will take your case, and not charge you for the consultation.  When you call an attorney, always ask if the first consultation is free.  Once you see an attorney about your case, make sure you understand how the attorney’s fees will be collected. 

For example, I take false arrest and police brutality cases on contingency fees.  This means that I collect my legal fee from the money that is recovered in the lawsuit.  I also front the costs of litigation, so that a client won’t have to pay out of pocket for filing fees, depositions, expert witnesses, etc.  Those costs can be very expensive, so make sure you ask an attorney about who will pay the costs of litigation.  At the end, assuming we recover against the police officer/police department or the insurance company that insures them, I re-coup the costs of litigation from the amount of money recovered.  If I don’t recover for you, you don’t pay me any money.

The damages in false arrest/police brutality cases vary from case to case, and every case is different.  The amount of money recovered depends on the degree of negligence/intentional conduct on the part of the officer, the amount of injury sustained by the plaintiff, and the insurance coverage available.

Statutes of Limitations:

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has statutes of limitations which limit the time available to file a lawsuit.  If the time allotted by the statute of limitations passes (or, “runs”), then your civil suit can be barred forever.  That makes it very important for you to contact an attorney as soon as possible.


A lot of attorneys don’t take false arrest/police brutality cases.  Therefore, when you are looking for an attorney to take your case, make sure the attorney has had experience with these kinds of cases.  Louisville Police Brutality lawyer Greg Simms has handled numerous false arrest and police brutality cases.  If you have a possible civil case against a police officer or police department, call 502.473.6464 for a free consultation with an experienced false arrest and police brutality lawyer.  Visit

Results.  As fast as the law will allow.

Questions answered in this blog post: What can be done about police brutality; can I sue for false arrest; what lawyers take false arrest cases; how do I find a good Louisville police brutality lawyer; what is a civil rights lawsuit; what is stipulation of probable cause; how does a stipulation of probable cause affect a false arrest/police brutality claim; what is the statute of limitations on a civil rights lawsuit; what is the statute of limitations on a false arrest/police brutality claim; explain how lawyer fees work; what is a contingency fee; how can I find a good Lexington false arrest/police brutality lawyer?


  1. My daughter is facing 1-3 the police charged her with a class d felony for damages to an end table in a hotel room her boyfriend had put a cigarette out on even after they asked the staff if the damage was worth a thousand dollars or more and were told no by the staff the police stated they were going to charge her with it anyway and now she could be facing 1-3 yrs what can I do I cant afford an attorney ,,,

    1. Public defender, commonwealth truly don't want to convict of a felony that doesn't warrant it. This case doesn't warrant for felony conviction

  2. My so was arrested a week ago for no operators license and leaving the scene of an accident. My son did not stop because he was not aware an accident took place, no there were no drugs or alcohol involved. My son's bail was set at $1,500 cash even though pretrial said he was not a risk, the Judge said he was a danger. My son has no criminal history at all and certainly poses no danger to anyone. Based on my research (I have a Paralegal degree) my son should have never been arrested. Would this not be false arrest and false imprisonment? This is a personal issue with the police officer.

  3. I failed to mention there was minimal damage to the drivers side mirror, I have pictures the mirror is intact with a small chip in the plastic. The police did not witness the incident based on the KRS he never should have been arrested. My son has been traumatized and has lost his job because of this. Small town.....I'm sure he is not the only victim of this city's police department.

  4. What is statue of limitations on police brutality in ky? police officer broke victims neck in front of other officers, been afraid of retaliation, please help

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  10. Do you represent clients in Northern Kentucky/Newport area or can you refer me to someone that does?

  11. I am a 56 year old veteran. My neck was also injured where I had to have spinal fusion of D5,6 and 7 in my neck,my #10 rib was fractured,and while handcuffed to a hospital bed at St E in Florence Ky,a police officer took out his Taser Gun,placed it to the top of my head and said,"Now i'm going to shut you up for good",Then he pulled the trigger sending the tase,voltage and amp directly to my skull and brain.All of this happen after an accidental discharger of firearm in to the sky through an upstairs bedroom window,(Pics available for all of this). I was being very calm and curtious when I ask them into my kitchen,after they had my hands cuffed behind my back and still calmly talking to 4-5 cops,they started beating me.Tae Kwon Do side snap kick by a swat officer initiated it all.As I said all of this was done to me after the incident.They also started drive by harrassment by shining their spotlights in my bedroom window at all hours of the night up to about 430am.I have many of these incidents on tape where I had finally put a video cam in my bedroom window to film them,which I then ask the Boone County Sheriffs Dept upper personnel to have them stop,which they did not.This happen in 1-1-09.... My brain has been scrambled for years and I am now almost to the point where I can go outside without being paranoid that cops would beat me up for anything,so I would like Justice.Can you help me? have I waited to long? I have sent e-mails to Sheriff Mike Helmig and Chief Of Police Les Hill on this many times over the last 4-5 years