False Arrest and False Imprisonment occur when a police officer arrests and holds a plaintiff in custody without court ordered documents, or without probable cause to do so. False Arrest is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment. The arresting officer must have reasonable knowledge that a crime has been or is being committed.
False Arrest can also involve private security personnel such as security guards or bounty hunters, or even citizens performing ‘citizens arrests’. Just because you feel as though you are a victim of false arrest does not mean you should resist. This is called ‘resisting false arrest’ and can be very hard to prove in a court of law.
However, there are reasons for attempting to avoid the arresting authority. If a police officer or person acting on behalf of the government fails to identify themselves, the plaintiff could reasonably believe they were in danger of kidnapping, robbery, or bodily harm. Also, if the defendant reasonably believed they would become a victim of Police Brutality if taken into custody, they could have justification for ‘resisting false arrest’.