Wrongfully Arrested

Wrongfully Arrested

Criminal Defense Attorney Los Angeles — Wrongfully Arrested

Imagine you are driving to work one morning and a police officer pulls you over for a minor traffic violation. For instance failure to signal when making a turn. The police observe a pill bottle in your vehicle and decide to search your car. They recover a number of bottles with pills in them. You tell the police officers that they are vitamins not illegal drugs. The officer just doesn’t believe you. To your horror, you are arrested and off to jail you go. Now you need a criminal defense attorney because you have been wrongfully arrested.

As if this is not enough, the nightmare continues. You sit in jail for days, then weeks waiting for the test results of pills the found in your car. The prosecutor claims they are waiting for the results from the lab. While in jail, you lose your job.  You fall behind on your rent and are evicted from your apartment. The lab results come back negative for narcotics. You are released from jail with an apology. But the damage is done and your life is ruined. All because you were wrongfully arrested.

If you think this cannot happen in the United States, it does happen.  In California, many criminal charges arise out of a simple traffic stop. Including misdemeanors and felonies. Pursuant to Penal Code section 69, it is unlawful to resist an “executive officer” in the performance of his/her duty.   To prove a defendant is guilty of such a crime, a California prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that:


  • The use of violence or force by a suspect to resist an “executive officer” in the performance of their duties; or
  • A defendant made an unlawful and willful attempt by means of violence or threat to deter or prevent a law enforcement or executive officer in the performance  of their duties.


In some instances and felony Penal Code section 69 charge or a misdemeanor Penal Code section 148 charge will be made against an innocent citizen, who has been taken advantage of by law enforcement.   To have a chance to bring a civil action for malicious prosecution, excessive force or related charges it is always best to get the underlying criminal charges dismissed. Which may occur by trial, motion or other means.


It has been over 20 years since the United Supreme Court took up a case involving suing a Federal right to sue  a law enforcement agency for malicious prosecution.


This is what happened to Elijah Manuel of Joliet, Illinois. Mr. Manuel sued the police under 42 USC 1983 for violating his 4thAmendment Rights under the United States Constitution. Unfortunately, his case was dismissed. Mr. Manuel fought the case all the way up through the appeals process. Now his case has been accepted by the United States Supreme Court. The last time the US Supreme court dealt with a federal malicious prosecution case, the person wrongfully charged with a crime lost. They lost because the US Supreme court said that the person was not seized under the Fourth Amendment. That’s different from Mr. Manuel’s case because he actually was arrested and went to jail.

If you feel you were wrongfully arrested of a crime you should consult a criminal defense attorney to get the best defense possible. Call the Leib Law Corporation for a free consultation at 844-210-1701. We have successfully defended individuals charged with crimes for over 30 years. In addition, we have successfully brought lawsuits against various government entities including law enforcement entities for damages suffered from excessive force. The law in this area is very technical and nuanced and the Leib Law Corporation has the skill and experience to deal with all types of cases.