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Police Officers must establish Particularized Suspicion before Plaintiff’s arrest and strip search

January 26, 2019

Our New York City civil rights lawyers have handled cases where the police have wrongfully strip searches citizens.  All too often police in New York City abuse their authority and strip search arrestees based on flimsy justifications, sometimes just to humiliate the person who was arrested.  Too many police believe they can strip search anyone who is arrested for drugs.

Our New York City  false arrest lawyers know that the Fourth Amendment prohibits ‘unreasonable’ searches and seizures, consequently, strip searches of arrestees charged with misdemeanors or other minor offenses violate the Fourth Amendment unless, based on the crime charged and the circumstances of the arrest, there is reasonable suspicion to believe that arrestee is concealing weapons or contraband. Our wrongful strip search  lawyers know that even if there is a probable cause for an arrest, that is not in and of itself sufficient justification for a strip search. To justify a more invasive search,  police officers must have a stronger factual basis underlying their reasonable suspicion. The New York and federal court said have made it clear that not every person arrested for a misdemeanors can be strip searches and even a drug arrest by itself does not justify a strip search.

Too often the police just assume everyone on the street at night in certain neighborhoods are carrying drugs. Our New York City lawyers who sue the police for wrongful strip searches know that when the police strip search someone and don’t find anything they try to justify it based on a tip from an unidentified confidential informant. The word of informant does not automatically make a search reasonable because  if nothing is found after a pat down search, where is the particular suspicion.  Contrary to what most police officers think, officers, cannot. strip search someone whenever they subjectively think there may be hidden contraband because this allowed for officers to strip search people on a mere hunch.

The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph