Prosecutors are given a significant amount of discretion when it comes to charging defendants with crimes. Unfortunately, this power is often abused, leaving innocent people to be accused of serious criminal offenses. However, this type of conduct is not limited to criminal cases, as it is also possible for a private citizen to file a false claim against another person or entity in civil court for the purpose of harassment or of shifting blame. In either case, the target of the false accusations can file a suit based on malicious prosecution and if successful, can recover compensation for their losses. Filing this type of claim is difficult, as it requires proof of a number of different complex elements, so if you were falsely accused of a crime, it is critical to contact a Franklin County malicious prosecution lawyer who has the experience and resources to protect your rights and interests.
In order to be successful, victims of malicious prosecution must prove that:
Criminal cases can only be filed against defendants when prosecutors have probable cause to believe that they are guilty. Essentially, this means that prosecutors and plaintiffs can only file a lawsuit against a defendant if they have a reasonable belief in that party’s guilt. The probable cause and intent elements of a malicious prosecution case are closely linked, as proof of a lack of probable cause can also help demonstrate that a proceeding was initiated without a proper purpose, whether it be malice, ill will, or any reason other than bringing the plaintiff to justice. Most defendants will not admit to having an improper purpose, so this element is usually inferred from the specific circumstances of the case. Fortunately, courts are often willing to infer an improper purpose if there is a lack of probable cause.
The final element is one of the most important in a malicious prosecution case and requires proof that the prior proceedings, whether criminal or civil in nature, were not only resolved in the plaintiff’s favor but also indicated in some way, that the accused was innocent. For this reason, a settlement or plea deal does not qualify as favorable termination. In fact, even dismissals based on procedural or constitutional violations do not qualify as a resolution for purposes of a malicious prosecution claim because they do not involve a determination of the accused’s innocence.
Plaintiffs who are successful in their malicious prosecution claims can recover damages from the defendant, compensating them for mental suffering, loss of reputation, and humiliation, as well as attorneys’ fees and court costs. If the original case involved criminal charges, a plaintiff could also collect compensation for injury to health and deprivation of time with family members, and in some cases, may also be eligible for punitive damages.
If you believe that a prosecutor has filed charges against you, not because you broke the law, but to cause you harm or harass you, please call (614) 463-9790 to speak with one of the experienced malicious prosecution attorneys at Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC today.
When I first contacted Helen Robinson, I felt hopeless and beaten down by my situation. With few resources, I was still desperate to right the wrong that was done to me. From our very first consultation, Helen was empathetic, knowledgeable, and transparent. She placed the power back into my hands.…
Marshall Forman & Schlein was a wonderful firm to work with. From the very first zoom conversation, I felt heard, validated, and justified. John and Sam know employment discrimination law very well and helped guide me through the process. Every step of the way, I had their support. It was…
I must say that this Law Firm was very responsive, informative and very concerned about my situation. Thank you for being so compassionate (Attorney Robinson).
The staff at this firm are incredibly kind! They also got back to me very quickly which I appreciated! Helen Robinson was absolutely wonderful and incredibly professional! She was clear and concise and answered every question I had with honesty. She made sure to explain everything in a way I…
My partner and I had worked together at a company that caused us many problems. Helen was very insightful and offered a solution to our unique problem. Everything went smoothly with Helen guiding us and the situation and we are beyond pleased with the results. We highly recommend her!
I got fantastic help from Maddie Rettig. I wish I could explain how great she was.
The staff at this firm are incredible. They want to know your story but, more than that, they want to know you. They get to know your heart and spirit so that they can serve you personally and effectively. My experience was refreshing and I felt cared for. Their work…
Would highly recommend Maddie Rettig! Very knowledgeable of all laws and regulations. She kept me informed every step of the way and was very transparent about what was going on. Very pleased customer and would refer anyone I know who needs legal counsel to Maddie!
John Marshall is a very skilled and competent attorney. I am very thankful for his professionalism, knowledge and guidance in dealing with a very difficult situation. John Marshall is someone I would highly recommend for any employment and civil rights needs.
I know, I put 5 stars on everything regarding Edward's evaluation and it seems unrealistic, but, believe me!- when you don't know whom to turn to, who can help you, and being pushed around from one attorney to another,- it is extremely satisfying to just get a moment of a…
Attorney Advertising. This information is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Past results and testimonials are not a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of the outcome of your case, and should not be construed as such. Past results cannot guarantee future performance. Any result in a single case is not meant to create an expectation of similar results in future matters because each case involves many different factors, therefore, results will differ on a case-by-case basis. By providing certain contact information herein, you are expressly authorizing the recipient of this message to contact you via the methods of communication provided.