Can I sue a Police Department for charging me with charges that were eventually dismissed because of lack of evidence? 17 Answers as of May 28, 2013

These assumed charges caused me not to be able to re-enlist in the United States military because of the assumption of my association. I pretty much lost my career as a Marine and benefits away from my family.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
I would need further information to answer. You should consult a Civil Rights attorney and disclose all the facts and circumstances to see if you have a case for violation of your civil rights.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/14/2012
Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
No.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/22/2013
Hynum Law Office, LLC
Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
You can sue the police department, but the more important question is, can you win the lawsuit. The fact that the case was dismissed does not automatically make the police department liable. The issue in the lawsuit would be whether the police had "probable cause" to arrest you. If there was any evidence at all that you might have committed the crime they arrested you for, even if it was not sufficient to convict you, the probable cause requirement was probably met. In my opinion a lawsuit against the police department would not be successful unless they had no evidence against you, or if you could prove that they knew the evidence they were relying on was false. You should also be aware that you can have the arrest expunged since the charges were dismissed, and that would help with your military or other careers.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 9/24/2012
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
It is almost impossible to file a lawsuit against a police department due to immunity issues.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/24/2012
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
If you were not convicted, you should be able to expunge the arrest from your record. Once you do that, you can apply for the military. I seriously doubt you can sue the police, they were acting inside their official duties and are immune from lawsuits, in almost all cases.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 9/24/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    If the charges were dismissed the military are not likely to hold that against you, but it depends on the circumstances and what the charges were. You cannot sue the police or prosecutor unless you can show malicious prosecution which means that they set you up or manufactured evidence or that they prosecuted you even though they knew that you were innocent. The prosecutor may not withhold evidence of innocence, he must turn it over to the defense attorney. Just because the evidence was insufficient or there was no probable cause for arrest it does not mean that you can sue the police. If the circumstances show the police were negligent or violated your civil rights and you suffered some loss or were in jail you might find a civil rights lawyer to take the case, but there has to be proper grounds and clear evidence and that is rare.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/28/2013
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    If the charges were dismissed I don't know why you cannot enlist. Unlikely you can sue the police department.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/22/2013
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    NO.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/22/2013
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Yes, you can sue the police. Get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/22/2013
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    Well the only reason to sue is if you can prevail and make some money out of the deal and possibly hopefully stop the police from doing something similar to somebody else. The question is how much evidence was there. In order to arrest they must have probable cause. Probable cause is very small so it depends on that but sometimes the police arrest before a full investigation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    have you talked to the marines now that the matter is dismissed? If that does not get you back in look for a police misconduct attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Police and prosecutors have qualified immunity. Unless you can prove that they knew the charges were false, your options are limited. Since the charges were ultimately dismissed, have you spoken with a recruiter to explore reenlistment? The Corps offer an outstanding career path and there is nothing so dangerous as a United States Marine. Good luck and Semper Fi!
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Usually not, but the cause of action would be called malicious prosecution if it is even remotely possible. There are vast complications with a case of this nature, and it will cost a lot of money to sue.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/24/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    No, your remedy not against the police. but to call the Marines and seek to re-enlist. You might have a cause of action against a false accuser.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/24/2012
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney