Fort Lauderdale Illegal De Facto Arrest Attorneys
Law enforcement officers must sometimes detain an individual without arresting them in order to obtain information, usually about a crime. However, police are also not allowed to detain a person for an unreasonable amount of time, particularly when they have not been placed under arrest. A police detention becomes an illegal de facto arrest when the scope of the detention is beyond that which is necessary for an investigative detention, or when it is unnecessary under the circumstances. If your rights have been violated, a Fort Lauderdale illegal de facto arrest attorney can help make things right.
Illegal De Facto Arrests and Reasonable Suspicion
Before a police officer can detain someone, even briefly, they must have reasonable suspicion to do so. Reasonable suspicion means the officer must have a reasonably valid suspicion that a person was involved in a crime. Reasonable suspicion involves more than just a hunch, but does not rise to the level of probable cause. When an officer has reasonable suspicion, they can frisk the outside of a person’s clothing for clothing for weapons.
Illegal De Facto Arrests and Probable Cause
Just as law enforcement officers must have reasonable suspicion to stop and detain someone, they must also have probable cause that you committed a crime. Probable cause means an officer has a reasonable basis to believe a crime has been committed. Officers must have probable cause before they conduct a search or make an arrest.
If the police detain you, it is important to ask them if you are free to leave. This will force their hand because if you are, it generally means the police do not have enough evidence to continue detaining you. The officer will have to let you leave or place you under arrest to ensure they are not accused of an illegal de facto arrest.
Illegal De Facto Arrests and Handcuffs
Many people believe that law enforcement officers can only put handcuffs on them if they are being placed under arrest. When the officer does not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause, handcuffed individuals then assume the officer is making an illegal de facto arrest. However, that is not true.
Police officers are allowed to handcuff individuals at traffic stops if they believe the person is a danger to themselves or others. For example, if an officer asked a driver to step out of their vehicle and the motorist complied but then became violent or aggressive, the officer may handcuff them so they can ask the driver some questions. If the officer does not have reasonable cause after questioning, they can remove the handcuffs and allow the driver to leave.
Our Fort Lauderdale Illegal De Facto Arrest Attorneys will Uphold Your Rights
If you feel as though your rights have been violated, our Fort Lauderdale illegal de factor arrest attorney at Meldon Law can assist with your case. We know how to prove your arrest was unlawful and will give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today at 800-373-8000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.