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Jury agrees Prince George's County officer made wrongful arrest

In October 2011, a manager of a well-known restaurant in Prince George's County was arrested after police suspected him of committing drug crimes. Fortunately, the man's arrest was caught on surveillance video. Footage from the surveillance video later revealed that police had no reason to arrest the man for allegedly committing drug crimes.

The charges were eventually dropped after arguing that police had no reason to suspect the man of committing a crime. And last month, the restaurant worker won a lawsuit he had filed against Prince George's County police for wrongfully arresting him over a year and a half ago.

The man was arrested after he had pulled into a parking lot at a 7-Eleven to check on a co-worker who had been pulled over for a traffic violation. While checking on his co-worker, an officer accused the man of having drugs. The restaurant worker informed the officer that he did not have any drugs on him. The restaurant worker attempted to call the officer's sergeant about the incident, but the officer then arrested the man for disorderly conduct.

Police never found drugs on the man, and a surveillance video later revealed that nothing had occurred to indicate that the man was involved in committing a drug crime. Last month, a jury awarded the man $160,000 after agreeing that the officer had no reason to arrest the restaurant worker.

It is extremely important for Maryland residents to make sure their rights remain protected if they are ever arrested or accused of committing a criminal offense. As the case discussed in today's blog post proves, not all arrests are conducted lawfully. Sometimes simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time may cause authorities to make assumptions about one's activities. Unfortunately, these assumptions have the potential to cause serious harm to innocent people.

If you have recently been arrested in Maryland, the most important thing you can do to protect your future is to reach out to an experienced defense attorney in your area. An attorney will investigate the circumstances of your arrest in order to determine whether any violations were made by authorities. An attorney will also be able to explain which defense options may be used to effectively resolve your legal concerns.

Source: NBC Washington, "Man awarded $160K in wrongful arrest suit against Prince George's County police," April 12, 2013