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Wrongful Arrest

Wrongful Arrest Compensation Claims

Many people live by the old adage of “there’s no smoke without fire”, so when somebody is wrongfully arrested in relation to a serious offence, it can have a highly damaging and entirely unfair long-term impact on their lives.

In many of the wrongful arrest claims against police forces we handle at Hudgell Solicitors, the victims are honest, upstanding members of society.

These have included a man wrongly arrested for murder and locked up for 36 hours, and another who was led away by police from his place of work, wrongly accused of committing a sexual assault.

In both cases, the investigating police forces soon realised the errors of their ways, the damage had already been done.

Specialists in Wrongful Arrest

Our team at Hudgell Solicitors are highly experienced in supporting people who have been wrongfully arrested in making claims against the police force involved. Whilst we all understand, and to a degree accept, that wrongful arrests will happen as part of the police trying to get to the bottom of cases, there still has to be a genuine reason for each and every arrest carried out.

  • With an expert legal team experienced in holding public authorities to account, we will be a strong and reliable partner in your challenge against the state.
  • We offer competitive private funding rates and routinely act for clients who pay privately. We are proud of the service we offer to our clients.
  • We are also a practice that has the benefit of a legal aid franchise and as such, are able to act for the most vulnerable clients, at no cost to you.
  • An award-winning team that has been nationally recognised and widely accredited for delivering civil liberties legal services to our clients.

 

 

 

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Making a Wrongful Arrest Claim

The power to arrest a citizen should only be used by the police as a last resort. There must be a lawful reason to make an arrest in the first place, otherwise, this can be considered to be a wrongful arrest. Any equipment used by the police (such as batons, tear gas, taser guns, or firearms) will also be taken into account when a decision is being made as to whether the force used was reasonable and lawful.

When making an arrest, police must follow a set procedure. Amongst other things, the arresting officer must identify themselves, tell the individual what crime they are suspected of having committed, and explain why an arrest is necessary.

If you feel you were wrongfully arrested, contact our police claims team today for free advice as time limits do apply to these claims.

Our Wrongful Arrest Experts

Dr Neil Hudgell Executive Chairman Read more
Vicky Richardson Head of Civil Liberties Read more
Leanne Stephenson Associate, Civil Liberties Read more
Terry Wilcox Associate, Civil Liberties Read more
Adam Biglin Solicitor, Civil Liberties Read more
Alexandra Eldon Trainee Solicitor, Civil Liberties Read more
Eliza Hudgell Solicitor, Civil Liberties Read more

How much will my claim cost?

All wrongful arrest cases taken on by Hudgell Solicitors are handled on a “no win, no fee” basis. This means that you will not have to pay any money upfront and there will be no financial risk if your case is unsuccessful.

If your case is successful, you will only be expected to pay a contribution to your solicitor’s fees once the case has been resolved. The costs paid are usually a percentage of the compensation awarded and will be agreed upon before your case is carried out.

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FAQs

What is wrongful arrest in the UK?
    UK law says that a police officer can only arrest a person if they are wanted on a warrant or if they have “reasonable belief” that someone might have been involved in a criminal offence, or be about to commit an offence, and they, therefore, believe it is necessary to arrest them.
    If you wanted to bring a claim of wrongful arrest, the allegation would hinge on two main things:
  • Whether the officer should or shouldn’t have believed that the person may have been involved in a criminal offence or about to commit an offence
  • Whether or not it was necessary to conduct an arrest
    If inquiries could have been continued without an arrest taking place, then a wrongful arrest may have occurred.
    The officer’s belief at the time of the arrest can also be questioned and come under scrutiny after the event, especially if it appears that it was unreasonable for them to suspect the individual of a crime.
What should I do if I am wrongfully arrested?
    If you believe you are being wrongfully arrested, try to remain calm throughout the procedure. It can be emotionally distressing; however, it is best to stay calm and level-headed.
    Anyone who is arrested must be told by the police why they have been detained. If you are arrested, the police can only detain you for a maximum of 24 hours. The Court does have the power to extend this to 96 hours for a more serious arrestable offence.
    When you are taken to a police station, you have a legal right to contact a solicitor and speak to them in private. You should communicate with your solicitor about what has happened. From here, you can later decide whether to file a complaint or pursue a claim for compensation.
Can police be sued for wrongful arrest?
    If you have been wrongfully arrested, you can pursue a claim for false imprisonment as well as assault.
    If you are the victim of an unlawful arrest, the time spent in custody is classed as being false imprisonment. The amount of damages that could be received would depend upon how long you were unlawfully detained against your will.
    Further, if you have been unlawfully arrested, you can automatically claim police assault if you were handcuffed or if unreasonable force was used during the arrest. If your case is successful, the damages awarded would depend on the severity of your injuries – whether they are physical or emotional.
What are the time limits for making a claim of the wrongful arrest?
    The time limits vary for claims of police assault and false imprisonment.
    For personal injury claims, such as assault or due to negligence in a police station, the person has three years to make a claim. This is three years from the date that the injury took place.
    For everything else, including false imprisonment, trespass, and malicious prosecution, you have six years from the date that the event occurred to make a claim against the police.
Why should I make a claim for wrongful arrest?
    Claiming for wrongful arrest can help to restore unfairly damaged reputations.
    When people turn to our team at Hudgell Solicitors after being wrongfully arrested they are often understandably very angry. However, their motivation is not usually about revenge or financial compensation, but about restoring their reputation and standing in their community.
    They are usually badly affected by the horrendous period they and their families have been put through. It can impact not only on their family and friends, but also at work.
    People can find themselves suspended from their jobs for a long period of time, as did a magistrate we successfully represented who was wrongly accused of committing a crime.

"Damages secured for client after officers arrested him at home having turned up at the wrong address."

Leanne Stephenson, Associate, Civil Liberties

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