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My son was arrested for no reason was held up in a city

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holding cell for 18 hrs...
My son was arrested for no reason was held up in a city holding cell for 18 hrs before being booked and bail of 400 hundred dollars was his release money which when after appearing in court the charges were released and half the money was given back.
He was approached by two plain clothes police offers while out with his girlfriend was told by the unidentified police offers to put his hands on the roof of his car. When he asked what the whole scary and surreal scenario was all about they responded"shut the f**k up' and was handcuffed. He was driven to the sheriffs holding cell and was not booked for 18 hours.
There were 100 others who were arrested that same night and the charges were dropped and half of their bail money had been returned. dropped.
Extortion? False Arrest and charges? Should I sue the local police authorities? Should the FBI be told about this scam?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/30/2010
Criminal Lawyer: JB Umphrey, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20,233
Experience: Handling criminal and probation matters for over 14 years.
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What was your son charged with?

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Lewd behavior and Drunkenness
Criminal Lawyer: JB Umphrey, Lawyer replied 8 years ago

1. Did your son have anything to drink that night?

2. Why were the charges dropped?

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
He had a sip of beer. There was no breathalyzer test
The charges were dropped.
Criminal Lawyer: JB Umphrey, Lawyer replied 8 years ago

From the facts you described, no there was not a false arrest. Just because the charges were later dropped, it does not mean that there was a false arrest. Because your son did consume alcohol, the police did have probable cause. The U.S. Supreme Court says that the police can hold a person for up to 48 hours before they are arraigned and have a bond set. Because your son was released after 18 hours, there's no violation there.

I understand how you can be upset as to what happened. However, from the facts you've described, there does not appear to be a basis to file a suit against the local police authorities.

Good luck and best wishes for better days ahead. I hope that you find this information to be helpful and this answer to be ACCEPTable!

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
My son and his girlfriend were just walking down the street.It was random. There were others who had been randomly arrested.
Criminal Lawyer: JB Umphrey, Lawyer replied 8 years ago
If your son admitted to having consumed alcohol then it wasn't necessarily "random".
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
my son had a sip of beer at our barbecue and did not smell of beer. He later brushed his teeth before he left the house and was not told by the pollice why he was being arrested. He did not have any other beer or alcholoic beverage.He and his girlfriend were on their way to a friend's house. They were not drunk they were not disorderly, of lewd. The girlfriend was not arrested. She had turned ariound to call her friends to let them know thye were on their way. She tuened around to talk with my son and he was gone. She had not seen any of this. These officers were quick.
Criminal Lawyer: JB Umphrey, Lawyer replied 8 years ago

Importantly, there is a big difference between what is necessary at the time an arrest is made vs. what is necessary to gain a criminal conviction.

At the time of an arrest, the police merely need to have probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and this person committed it. Probable cause can be just a hair of proof.

For a criminal conviction, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed and this person committed it. That's a much, much higher burden of proof.

It is because of that distinction that you can have instances such as the one your son found himself in: there was probable cause to make an arrest but there was not even evidence for the prosecutor to prove his/her case 'beyond a reasonable doubt' for any criminal conviction (thus, the case was dismissed).

Notwithstanding all of that, the officers are also protected by governmental and qualified immunity.

Again, from the facts you've described, your son does not have a basis to succeed in a civil lawsuit. However, he's more than welcome to contact a local civil rights attorney or the American Civil Liberties Union for a different look.

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