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Know the difference between fair and false imprisonment or arrest

A false arrest is a situation in which you allege that you were arrested without probable cause or without a court order. In a situation involving false arrest, you may be able to sue the police or the private security agents who held you without the right to do so.

With a false arrest, there is also the likelihood of false imprisonment. This is when someone detains you willfully without consent and without being in accordance with the law. For example, if you are stopped by the police for a tail light being out, the likelihood is that they cannot arrest you and detain you for that offense. There would need to be a more significant issue at hand to be arrested and detained.

Is physical force a requirement in a false arrest claim?

While it is a common part of these claims, it's not a requirement. However, if you willfully go with the police or a security agent at their request, then your case may not meet the requirements needed to be a false arrest or to show false imprisonment.

Can a shopkeeper detain you if they think you stole from them?

Yes, but only for a reasonable amount of time. For example, if the storekeeper claims you stole, they might detain you while calling security or the police. They can detain you for a reasonable period of time while asking you questions, since they claim they have a reasonable suspicion of your taking something from their store.

Since there is probable cause, this situation won't constitute false imprisonment or arrest. However, if you are held after proving innocence or for an unreasonable time based on the time needed to question you, you might have a claim against the shopkeeper, security guards or the police.

False imprisonment or arrest are against the law and are a violation of your civil rights. If you believe that you have been falsely imprisoned in the past or had your civil rights violated in another manner, it's important to get to know your legal rights.

In many cases, you have the right to hold the other party responsible for their actions, and you may be able to claim compensation for the stress caused to you. No one should have to worry about being detained or arrested without reasonable cause, suspicion or their own consent. Know your rights, so you can speak out against these crimes.

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