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ILLEGAL ARREST - What are my rights? What can I do? Can I press charges for illegal arrest; seek compensation?

Aliso Viejo, CA |

I have been arrested by the Sheriffs in my house and taken to jail with charge "Intentional Infliction of Injuries upon spouse". Neighbour call police after hearing me and my fiance fighting. Sheriffs came over and separated me and my fiance and asked questions. My fiance had some scratches on him. He explained to them that I wanted to leave and he didn't want to let me go and I was trying to free myself and existentially scratched him. He said that we are ok and need no help and no one is pressing any charges. However, Sheriffs till arrested me and took to jail even though my fiance was begging them not to take me away. Without my or his permission sheriffs went through my wallet and took my phone. They took his photographs.
I was in jail for 2 days and then case was dismissed.

I believe my rights were severely violated by sheriffs. What actions can I take against them? Can I seek administrative actions against that sheriff? I have case number, sheriff's badge number and my booking ID numbers available. Can I seek monetary compensation for violation of my freedom and liberty rights? What kind of lawyer would I need to look for if monetary compensation is possible in this case? My fiance will testify in court to everything that happened. In case it matters, this was Orange County Sheriffs Department. Thank you in advance for your help.

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Attorney answers 4


I agree with the other attorneys. You have absolutely no case. I understand the humiliation and trauma of getting arrested, especially if this is your first time in the system. You appeared to have a reasonable explanation for the injuries to your fiance. And being locked up in county jail is no picnic. But in DV cases, the police are usually caught between a rock and a hard place. Someone called them out to what COULD have escalated into dangerous situation. Once they get there, the parties usually change their tune and present a united front once they see the cops showed up and that someone is going to jail. Many cops across the country are killed when responding to DV situations. But everything the police did was legal and within the law. Based on what you have written, I suspect you did not go quietly with the police. However, you were not arrested illegally and any civil rights suit will most likely fail. And you could find yourself having to pay attorneys fees and costs to the other side if you lose in court. Sounds to me like some anger management classes might be appropriate for both of you, especially if you plan on getting married.

The information and legal suggestions made herein do not in any way create an attorney-client relationship. The responses provided herein discuss general principles of law and should not be relied upon by the asker in making legal decisions. Only an attorney who has met with the asker and fully reviewed the facts and circumstances of the asker's individual case should be relied upon for legal advice. If you find my suggestions helpful, please mark the appropriate box as helpful.


It appears the arrest was legal. Also, it appears you were afforded due process under the constitution.


Nothing that you have stated here supports a legal claim against the arresting agency. Based just on what you have posted here, this was not an unlawful arrest. If there are more facts, contact a civil rights attorney.

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You have no case. When officers arrive at the scene of a reported domestic violence incident, they often find that no one wants to press charges and everyone minimizes what happened. The officers are free to draw their own conclusions of what really happened and since there was evidence of physical contact and injuries, the officers were within their rights to arrest you. That does not mean that you did not have a defense to criminal charges but it does mean the original arrest was valid. If the arrest was valid there is no claim for false arrest.

LICENSED AND ACCEPTING CASES IN CALIFORNIA & UTAH - 911LAW.ORG - Former Judge Pro Tem in California Superior Court. CALIFORNIA PERSONAL INJURY CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY LAWYER. ST GEORGE UTAH PERSONAL INJURY CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY LAWYER. Attorney responses are provided for informational and educational purposes only and do not create an attorney client relationship. Such responses represent the attorney’s initial analysis based only upon the facts set forth in the question. Since the question may not include all of the facts or omit material facts or timelines which could affect the attorney’s conclusions, attorney responses should not be construed as legal advice for any particular set of facts but only as a preliminary opinion.

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