NYC False Arrest Lawyer Cody Warner Discusses Suing the Police

When the police violate a person’s civil rights, the damage can be life-changing.

Victims of police misconduct face the loss of liberty, reputation, livelihood, and more.

Although you can’t change what the police wrongfully did to you, our civil rights laws provide you with a remedy. You can team up with an NYC False Arrest Lawyer to sue the police and hold them accountable for their wrongdoing.

Types of Claims Against the Police

If you are the victim of police misconduct in New York City, you may be able to bring a variety of claims against the NYPD. Some of the claims you may be able to bring against the police include:

  • False Arrest
  • Excessive Force (Police Brutality)
  • Denial of Right to a Fair Trial
  • Failure to Intervene
  • False Imprisonment
  • Malicious Prosecution
  • Denial of Equal Protection
  • Malicious Abuse of Process

If the police violated your civil rights, you may be able to bring any one or more of these claims against the police. An NYC False Arrest Attorney can evaluate your case to determine the ways in which you can sue the NYPD to make sure that you receive justice.

Can I Get Compensation for Police Misconduct?

If the police unlawfully arrested you or engaged in other police misconduct, such as excessive force or false imprisonment, you may be able to receive financial compensation.

The amount of compensation will be dependent on the details of the police misconduct. Some important factors include:

  • how long you were in jail
  • whether you were injured
  • the extent of any injury
  • whether other officers stood by and did not stop the misconduct
  • whether the police fabricated allegations
  • whether the police discriminated against you
  • whether you suffered employment consequences from a failed background check

The worth of a police misconduct case varies, depending on many factors, such are the ones listed above. For instance, some cases may be worth a couple thousand of dollars, while others may be worth millions of dollars. An experienced NYC wrongful arrest attorney can evaluate your claims to assess the likelihood of victory and the amount of compensation that can be reasonably expected.

The Basic Steps of a Lawsuit Against the Police

If you decide to initiate a lawsuit against the police, your case will go through several main phases until the case is resolved. These phases include pleadings, discovery, legal motions, settlement negotiations, and trial.


A lawsuit begins once the plaintiff files a complaint with the court. This first stage is also known as the “pleadings” stage of a case. In the complaint, your lawyer will outline all your allegations against the police.

After receiving your complaint, the police will file an “answer,” in which the police admit or deny the claims in the complaint. The police may also raise defenses to the allegations.


The next—and most time consuming—part of the case is the discovery phase, which is when both parties exchange the information they have about the case.

During this phase, both parties may depose witnesses to gather information about what happened. Parties will also request records from each other and third parties.

After the discovery process is concluded, both sides usually have a better understanding of the incident.

Legal Motions

After the discovery process is completed, the parties may file legal motions. The police usually file a motion to dismiss the case by arguing that the facts don’t support the allegations. The plaintiff’s lawyer will, in turn, argue why the established facts do support the claims. If the judge does not grant the police’s motion for dismissal, then the case will go to trial.

Settlement Negotiations

Settlement negotiations can happen anytime during a case. In fact, settlement negotiations can even occur before a lawsuit is initiated. However, many settlements are reached once the discovery process is completed, because after discovery is completed, both sides have a fuller understanding of what happened and can determine a fair settlement amount. If a settlement agreement is never reached and the judge does not dismiss the case, then the case will proceed to trial.


During trial, you will present evidence to support your claims that the police violated your rights. Such evidence can include witness testimony, video footage, medical records, expert testimony, and other forms of evidence.

Once all evidence is presented to the jury, your lawyer will argue to the jury why the facts support a conclusion that the police violated your rights.

If the jury finds that the police violated your rights, then it will also decide how much compensation you should receive from the police.

What are the Elements of False Arrest in New York?

One of the most common claims in police misconduct cases is False Arrest, which occurs when the police arrest you without having the legal justification to do so.

A False Arrest claim requires proof of the following four elements:

  1. The police intended to confine the person;
  2. The person was conscious of the confinement;
  3. The person did not consent to the confinement; and
  4. The confinement was not otherwise privileged.

Typically, most False Arrest cases are won or lost depending on whether element #4 is established—the confinement was not otherwise privileged. The most common way in which a confinement (arrest) is privileged is when the police have probable cause to make an arrest. So, if the arresting officer had probable cause to make an arrest, then the arrest was lawful. However, if the arrest was not supported by probable cause, then an unlawful arrest likely occurred and you would be entitled to receive compensation.

It can sometimes be difficult to assess whether the police had probable cause to make an arrest, so if you think you may be the victim of false arrest, contact an experienced NYC wrongful arrest attorney, who can evaluate your case to determine whether you have a strong claim.

Importantly, Cody Warner focuses on criminal law, so he is always on top of the evolving caselaw surrounding the probable cause, and he can thoroughly evaluate whether or not probable cause existed for your arrest. After analyzing whether the police had probable cause, he can determine whether you have a strong legal claim against the police.

What are Examples of Wrongful Arrest?

Wrongful arrest cases typically happen when the police allege they observed you commit a crime, but you didn’t actually commit a crime. Oftentimes this will happen after there is a tense confrontation or argument between you and the police. Not surprisingly, such confrontations often happen during protests or situations where the police are trying to clear an area and they say that you Obstructed Governmental Administration by purposefully getting in their way.

Importantly, the police are usually legally justified to arrest you if an identified person says that you committed a crime, even if that person is lying. For instance, if someone says you committed a Domestic Violence offense, the police can rely on that person’s word to legally arrest you. However, if the police have other evidence that contradicts the witness’ claim, then the police might not have probable cause to arrest you. An experienced NYC False Arrest lawyer could analyze the specifics of your case to determine whether you have a strong claim.

Choosing Cody Warner, P.C., Experienced NYC False Arrest Lawyers, to Represent You

If you have a police misconduct claim against New York police, the firm you select to represent you can make a big difference. The firm you choose can impact your likelihood of success, and if you are successful, it can affect the number of zeros at the end of your check.

To be successful with police misconduct cases, a firm needs to thoroughly understand criminal law. A firm needs to know whether or not the police have probable cause for an arrest. The firm needs to know whether the facts supported criminal charges. Many firms that take police misconduct cases are general plaintiff law firms. Those firms handle very different legal areas, like medical malpractice, car crashes, and construction site injuries.

Unlike those firms, Cody Warner, P.C. is a criminal defense firm that is always exploring the issues related to police misconduct cases—such as the lawfulness of police seizures, searches, and charges. If you want to know whether your doctor botched your operation or a construction crew created unsafe conditions, then look elsewhere. If you want to know whether the police department violated your rights and the worth of your legal claim, then you’ve found the right place. Our team has extensive experience litigating police misconduct cases and will make sure that the police are held accountable their wrongdoing.

Were You the Victim of Police Misconduct? Call An NYC False Arrest Lawyer Today

If you were falsely arrested, or suffered from police brutality or any other police misconduct, then call our law office for a free consultation. We will discuss your case to assess whether you have a strong claim. All of our police misconduct cases are taken on a contingency basis, so you will never have to pay out-of-pocket for any fees or costs. After the consultation, if you decide to move forward with our team, we will immediately get to work in effort to hold the police accountable and get you justice.