Legal Question in Administrative Law in California

Hello. My boyfriend was arrested back in January and feels it was unjust. He was in the passenger seat of his friends car. They had been drinking, and the driver pulled over because he needed to puke. Two police rolled up on them. The first questioned the driver who got away with drunk driving. My boyfriend, who had much less to drink, was questioned by the second officer. They asked him if he had been drinking, he said yes. They told him to stand up out of the car and put his hands over his head. He had his back to the cops and they began handcuffing him. He was confused as to why he was being arrested so he tried to turn around, at the same time taking one hand down from over his head. They had not given any clue as to why he was being arrested and didn't read him his rights. The cops grabbed him and slammed him on the ground, giving him a black eye, nearly crushing his ribs (it was hard for him to breathe for the next couple weeks) and he also received a large scrape under his eye that has left a permanent scar. Of course his temper wasn't exactly in line when they put him in the car. We have always been skeptical about cops, knowing how corrupt they can be when they need to match their quota, although we've never had trouble with the law before. So I'm sure he was speaking his mind a bit too much. But when they got him to the police station, they put him in a wheelchair and tied his legs down and put a bag over his head. He was put in the drunk tank and left in there for hours and wasn't allowed to make calls until 6 hours later. The driver who had been puking befre the cops showed up, according to the police report, was told to call for a ride or wait to sober up before he drove away. My boyfriend was charged with resisting arrest, drunk in public, battery against an officer, and obstruction. But if the reason he was being arrested was for being drunk in public, how is he in public if he is in a car on the side of the road not disturbing anyone. He wasn't running around yelling or anything. So to me all the charges seem false. They didn't breathalize him or blood test him. I was wondering what are the chances of being able to sue for false arrest and police brutality, if he had been drinking but they have no proof of how intoxicated he was. Besides, the legal limit only applies for drivers, not passengers. Why is alcohol legal if you can get arrested for being drunk in the passenger seat of a car?

Asked on 5/16/13, 12:08 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Zadik Shapiro Law Offices of C. Zadik Shapiro

You should ask the question on a civil litigation page. But get an attorney right away. Prior to suing you must make a claim with the police department. This must be done within six month of the assault.

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Answered on 5/16/13, 10:06 pm

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