What are my rights if I was placed into “protective custody” for attempting to tell a friend that he did not have to talk to the police?

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What are my rights if I was placed into “protective custody” for attempting to tell a friend that he did not have to talk to the police?

A party was being broken up by the police. I decided to stay at house (my friend’s) to make sure things were alright. As the police threatened my friend with what they could do, I reminded him of his 5th amendment right. At that point the officer asked, “you been drinking”? I replied, “Yes I have and I’m 23”. At that point he placed me in cuffs. I was held in a cell for an hour in “protective custody”. I am outraged. Should I pursue a lawsuit?

Asked on April 8, 2011 under Criminal Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The theory upon which you need to develop a cause of action against the police is known as "false imprisonment."   False imprisonment has been defines as the "unlawful restrain of a person's freedom" or "act of restraining a person against his/her will in a bounded area without any justification."  False imprisonment generally refers to the confinement of a person without the consent of such person or without legal authority. The police have "legal authority" in a sense but no justification it appears from the way that you have written the facts. The time you were confined may or may not have a bearing here. I would indeed speak with an attorney in your area regarding the matter in detail. Good luck.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The theory upon which you need to develop a cause of action against the police is known as "false imprisonment."   False imprisonment has been defines as the "unlawful restrain of a person's freedom" or "act of restraining a person against his/her will in a bounded area without any justification."  False imprisonment generally refers to the confinement of a person without the consent of such person or without legal authority. The police have "legal authority" in a sense but no justification it appears from the way that you have written the facts. The time you were confined may or may not have a bearing here. I would indeed speak with an attorney in your area regarding the matter in detail. Good luck.


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