Unlawful Detention

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Unlawful Detention Compensation


The law attaches supreme importance to the liberty of individuals and a person who believes that they have experienced false imprisonment or wrongful arrest may be entitled to claim compensation. Our experienced solicitors at Clifford Johnston & Co. can provide advice if you think you have been unlawfully detained.

A Claimant need only prove that he or she was “detained” and assert that the detention was “wrongful” and the burden of proof then shifts to the Defendant to prove that the detention was lawful.

For an arrest to be lawful, the arresting officer must have had a belief of the person’s guilt AND must have had reasonable grounds for entertaining that belief. The exercise by the police of the power of arrest is then discretionary but the power must be exercised reasonably. The requirements for a lawful arrest and detention are:

  • The arresting officer must have had a belief of the person’s guilt.
  • There must have been reasonable grounds for him or her to form that belief.
  • He or she must not have unreasonably exercised the power of arrest that then arose.

If an arrest is determined to have been unlawful then any detention following on from the arrest is also unlawful.

There are occasions when the initial decision to arrest or detain is lawful but the detention becomes unlawful due to its length.

Clifford Johnston solicitors secured compensation of £35,000 for a Claimant who, having served a full prison sentence, was then detained by the Home Office for many months so that he could be deported.

In these cases the Home Office are required to justify the entire duration of the detention on a day by day basis.

Clifford Johnston solicitors obtained compensation of £5,000 for a Claimant who was unnecessarily arrested when he attended at a police station for a pre-arranged interview. Liability was denied by the police but the claim was settled after court proceedings were started.

Our solicitors obtained compensation of £10,000 for a Claimant who was arrested, detained and prosecuted as a result of false testimony from police officers.

If you would like advice about a possible unlawful detention or wrongful arrest claim please contact our solicitors today.


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