Being accused of a crime you did not commit can be stressful and upsetting to you and your family. But when you are a victim of false arrest with no warning, you may feel like you have no way to fight the action.

Be it a matter of discrimination, an officer’s failure to abide by the law, or use of excessive force coupled with your false arrest, know that you have rights. If you are held in custody without probable cause, you may be able to press charges for a false arrest. An office needs to abide by the law, just as much you do.

If you are a victim of false arrest you need a strong legal defense–you need Scranton civil rights attorney Craig Kalinoski.

What is a false arrest?

A false arrest occurs when a person has been arrested or restrained without adequate legal justification. The unlawful restraint of an individual which substantially impacts his or her liberty not only can occur between a civilian and law enforcement officer but with any person if he or she:

  • Holds another against his or her will or
  • Takes another into custody without consent or without legal justification

Simply saying you are a victim of false arrest is not enough to end the legal battle. In order to prove you are a victim of false arrest in Pennsylvania, you must show:

  • There was intent to confine and limit the liberty of the victim
  • The victim was conscious of the confinement and did not consent to it
  • The confinement was not privileged


Under Pennsylvania law, there are various degrees of charges for false imprisonment. 

If the false arrest occurs to an individual over the age of 18, the person has committed a misdemeanor of the first degree if he or she knowingly restrains another.

However, if false imprisonment, often used interchangeably with false arrest, occurs with a minor, the individual commits a felony of the second degree if he or she knowingly restrains another unlawfully. The main difference between false arrest is that it requires an arrest made without probable cause, while false imprisonment requires the unlawful detention of another person.

But if the victim is a minor and the offender is the victim’s parent, the offender commits a felony of the second degree if he or she knowingly restrains another unlawfully.

Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania

The statute of limitations on a false arrest charge in Pennsylvania is two years. The statute of limitations begins the day the crime has occurred.

However, it is important to document everything that occurs so you can trace back the event. This can include video surveillance footage, phone calls, photographic evidence, etc.

Compensation for False Arrest, Imprisonment

Whether your false arrest lasts minutes, hours, or days, any time you spend restrained unlawfully is emotional and traumatic to you and your family. Know that just because an officer makes a mistake, does not mean you have to accept the aftermath.

If you are a victim of false arrest or false imprisonment, you may be entitled to compensation for the damage caused by the false arrest. In addition, you will be able to hold those officers or civilians responsible for the false arrest.

We know how difficult a false arrest interaction can be. Don’t remain silent. Let Kalinoski Law Offices P.C. defend you.

False Arrest in Pennsylvania: Kalinoski Law Offices, P.C.

Your civil rights matter. If your rights have been violated as a result of a false arrest, you need the legal support of Scranton lawyer Craig Kalinoski. He will protect your rights and bring you the justice you deserve. Contact us today.

We fight for the rights of our clients in a wide spectrum of practice areas, ranging from criminal defense to family law to civil rights and personal injury.

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