I often see that people that have been falsely arrested usually wait till they are acquitted or the case gets dismissed by criminal court before filing a section 1983 claim for false arrest or police brutality. What will happen if someone falsely arrested immediately files a lawsuit or section 1983 claim for false arrest and the city moves for and wins summary judgment in the civil case while the criminal case is still pending. Does that mean that the law of res judicata barring the retrial of a matter already decided in court would make the person automatically guilty in criminal court as well? Or the government won't be able to use the civil judgment against the person in criminal court?
There are different burdens of proof and different issues.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 18 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
The criminal case will get decided first. If a civil suit is filed right away it will almost always be stayed to allow the criminal case to be resolved.
No. You can be rightfully arrested, but still not guilty of a crime. Example: 10 people say they saw you commit a crime. 10 other people say they saw you at or around the scene around the time of the crime. You are arrested. Your DNA is taken. It is tested and doesn't match. The person that committed the crime just looked like you, but his DNA is already on file because he's been arrested 10 previous times for the same crime. You, unfortunately, happened to be in the area at the time. You are not guilty. 20 witnesses implicated you. You were rightfully arrested.
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