Am I Entitled to Damages After I was Falsely Accused of a Crime that Resulted in an Arrest and Jail?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“I was recently falsely accused of a crime, arrested and jailed for 8 days. After 17 months of worrying whether the charges were going to land me in prison, they were dropped. Now my family has disowned me. Am I entitled to money damages for the state of Florida ruining my life?”

First of all, I am very sorry to hear what happened to you. As far as suing for false arrest: police officers have qualified immunity, which protects them from lawsuits brought by individuals who they arrested, but were later found to be not guilty. To legally arrest someone, an officer must have probably cause that you committed a crime. However, facts change and the law officers may later discover – as the investigation continues – that you were not guilty of the crime and should be set free. These types of situations can be pursued in court, but will not always result in damages. Since the merit of your case depends on additional facts you have not provided as well as information that needs to be collected from a police department, you should contact a local attorney and speak with them about your case.