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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default Can I Sue the Police After Being Found Not Guilty

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: WEST VIRGINIA.

    I am a resident of another state with tags and license reflecting such. I was pulled over by 4 state policeman who ordered me to step out of my vehicle and hand over my ID. I complied and immediately they put me in handcuffs and told me that I was NOT under arrest but they were placing me in their car for their protection.

    While calmly sitting in their car and believing I would be released, they were crawling through my vehicle. I had nothing illegal in my vehicle in plain sight or otherwise. TEN minutes later, they came back to the their car stating that they were arresting me for OBSTRUCTION. I asked for what but they would not tell me, they kept stating "you didn't do what we asked" but would not say what I did not do. I insisted that I had complied.

    After interrogating me for over 3 hours in the station, refusing to let me use the restroom, call someone, contact an attorney, I answered all their questions politely and cooperatively but they had not given me my miranda rights. I refused to sign a "CONSENT to SEARCH" because they had already searched my vehicle without my permission. I also refused to sign or waver my rights with the Miranda Paper.

    The Senior Police Officers made it clear that I was being accused by one of their FAMILY MEMBERS or FRIENDS or NEIGHBORS and that they would not believe anything that I said because they KNEW the accusers. I did not know these people or have any knowledge of who they were. They would not allow me to press charges or make any statements regarding what happened. The Senior Police Officer decreed he would make sure that I went to prison for life. The accuser is a woman and her teen son. They arrested me and charged me with 2 FELONIES AND 1 MISDEMEANOR with possible 21 years in Prison and forbid me from leaving the state of wv.

    I lost my career in my home state and was financially devastated, attack of reputation and more.

    What is my recourse for restitution for this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,837

    Default Re: Can I Sue the STATE POLICE After Being Found NOT GUILTY

    Quote Quoting advicenow
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    What is my recourse for restitution for this?

    Being found not guilty does not necessarily mean the police did not have probable cause to arrest as "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" has no legal application outside the courtroom.

    Police enjoy what is known as Qualified Immunity. This burden must be overcome to be successful in any wrongful arrest suit.

    You can have an attorney review your case facts. If he feels this burden will be difficult to overcome, he may not accept the case.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,085

    Default Re: Can I Sue the STATE POLICE After Being Found NOT GUILTY

    How long ago did this happen?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Can I Sue the STATE POLICE After Being Found NOT GUILTY

    Quote Quoting cyjeff
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    How long ago did this happen?
    one year ago

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,763

    Default Re: Can I Sue the Police After Being Found Not Guilty

    You will have generally to show intentional malfeasance on their part (or that they performed actions that were unlawful and they should have reasonably known they were unlawful and improper). If a full year has passed, then you might be outside the statute of limitations to file a suit. But, to know for certain, you will have to run the details by a local civil litigator who can tell you what your options are and whether you even have a viable case. A "not guilty" verdict does NOT, absence a whole lot more, give you grounds to sue.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    367

    Default Re: Can I Sue the Police After Being Found Not Guilty

    Also, make sure the attorney is one who specializes in this type of case. I would look for a large firm in a fairly large city. A lot of them will do it on a contingency if they feel the case has merit.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,837

    Default Re: Can I Sue the Police After Being Found Not Guilty

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
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    If a full year has passed, then you might be outside the statute of limitations to file a suit. But, to know for certain, you will have to run the details by a local civil litigator who can tell you what your options are and whether you even have a viable case. - Carl

    As far as a 1983 action is concerned, at least as one possible basis for suit, the US Supreme court has ruled the forum state's SOL's apply for personal injury, assault, etc.

    If an officer beat him up, and the state's SOL is 2 years for a civil suit for assault, then he is okay, as an example.

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