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Can I sue the police department for false arrest?

Douglas, GA |

When my husband told them that I had taken a lot of pills, even though I denied it and my blood pressure was fine, the police handcuffed me, put me in the back of a police car and took me to the hospital. The hospital found that I was okay and released me. The officer asked if I needed a ride home but instead took me to jail, charging me with obstruction. I feel as though my rights were violated. He said he was taking me home, did not tell me I was under arrest, did not read my rights to me or anything...

Attorney Answers 4


As to the initial detention (home to hospital) no. The police had a duty to accept your husband's statement and take you to e hospital. I do not understand why you were then charged with obstruction. Based only on the limited information you provided, it does not appear that the office had probable cause to arrest you, but I am guessing that there is more to the story.

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I fought being taken to the hospital. I was in fear that they would pump my stomach (which I've heard is AWFUL). I also did not want to pay a hospital bill and I HADN'T overdosed on pills, so there was no reason for me to need help. So, I fought them and cussed them. They basically took me kicking and screaming.


Something is missing here. Were you cooperative, or were you combative? When the officer brought you to the hospital were you kicking and screaming all the way there? When he asked you if you needed a ride home did you do or say anything that interfered with the officer's doing his job? This is not to say that the officer acted properly, but only to say we don't have enough information to make a determination one way or the other.

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The first thing you have to do is defeat the obstruction charge. If you are convicted or plea guilty to anything arising out of this arrest, then a civil suit is unlikely to succeed.

So, criminal first, then civil.

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It is unclear why you were arrested for obstruction. I believe if you wanted to sue them for false arrest, you would need to beat the obstruction charge first. Keep in mind, if you are intending to sue the police you must first send a notice of claim "ante litem notice." you have 6 months if it is the city police and 12 months if the county sheriff. If you don't file this claim you will be barred from ever filing a suit. You should speak with a civil rights attorney as soon as possible.

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