California is seeing a rise in malicious prosecution but the country as a whole is also experiencing similar statistics. In fact, the outcry and increase has even led to some landmark decisions that have changed how malicious prosecution cases work. Recently, Thompson v. Clark led to the court recognizing a claim for malicious prosecution under the Fourth Amendment when an individual is detained by law enforcement officers without probable cause.
The Court declared that those bringing a legal action must demonstrate only that the criminal charges against them ended without a conviction, as opposed to needing an assertion of innocence—which would have been impossible for some cases. What does this mean?
The obstacles for proving malicious prosecution have been lowered. With that said, there’s a lot to consider before moving forward with a case. Read this guide to get more information regarding what may be considered malicious prosecution by a court. Keep in mind that, one, nothing here is provided as legal advice (see our disclaimer below). Secondly, talk to an attorney before you consider any serious decisions. Seriously. No friend or blog has all the information you need. The following, however, may prepare you for that first call – so please read on.
5 things that make a malicious prosecution case winnable
A malicious prosecution case can be difficult to prove, but with a few key elements it can be won in court. First, it must be clear that the defendant did not have probable cause to bring the action. This means that no reasonable police officer or prosecutor would have believed there was sufficient evidence or legally adequate suspicion to initiate proceedings. Second, the defendant must have acted out of malice in initiating or continuing the criminal proceedings against the plaintiff – they must have done so with some improper motive such as personal gain or revenge. Third, it must also be shown that the criminal proceedings were indeed terminated in favor of the plaintiff. Fourth, civil damages stemming from malicious prosecution should also be proven, such as emotional distress damages, economic loss related to legal fees and possibly punitive damages for particularly egregious actions on behalf of the prosecutor. Finally, independent evidence from witnesses may pointedly suggest the defendant’s guilt or innocence in order for a plaintiff’s malicious prosecution case to succeed in court. With all five elements present and proven through reliable testimony and documents, it is likely that a malicious prosecution claim against a defendant will ultimately result in victory for a plaintiff in court.
5 reasons why you may NOT have a malicious prosecution case that is winnable
A malicious prosecution case can be complex to build and defend, so it’s important to know if you have a winnable case. Although there is no guarantee that a traditional legal strategy will work, there are a few key reasons why you may not even have a chance at a successful malicious prosecution lawsuit. First, if your case was not terminated in your favor, then the possibility of winning decreases drastically since the burden of proof lies largely on the plaintiff to demonstrate that there were no facts or evidence behind the initial prosecution. Furthermore, if law enforcement or any public entity acted within the scope of their reasonable duties during the prosecution process, they will be protected against such an action. Additionally, without substantial evidence of improper motives by officers or prosecutors who were involved in your criminal case, it can be difficult to prove malice and therefore liability for malicious prosecution. Lastly, in general such litigation takes time and resources and as stated above is also very hard to come by.
Average settlement amounts in California vary
The average settlement for malicious prosecution varies from case to case. In essence, if you’ve been wrongfully accused of a crime, you may be able to file a malicious prosecution lawsuit. These lawsuits are usually complex, so it’s important to understand the different elements that must be proved in order to win.
For example, in California, the courts require that you show that the original prosecutor lacked probable cause to charge you with a crime. Settlements in California will depend on the specifics of each individual case: the severity of the losses, liability issues and other factors. An average settlement amount can range from a few hundred dollars to millions–really, it all depends on the details.
The estimated worth of a case is based mainly on how well it is documented, how much time has been lost to disability or missed work due to injuries, and other economic losses incurred (e.g., medical bills). In some cases, punitive damages may be allowed to be collected when another party was particularly negligent or showed intentional disregard for the safety of another. To really gauge an average settlement amount for a given case in California it’s best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can review the facts and provide guidance.
How to find the right civil rights lawyer for your case
Finding a civil rights lawyer for your case may be overwhelming with all the information out there, but it doesn’t have to be. Start by researching potential lawyers in general and narrowing it down to those with expertise in civil rights issues. Look for elements such as experience, certifications, and notably cases they’ve worked on before. For example, if you search for Greg Kirakosian on Google – you’ll see the many articles and information regarding the civil rights cases Greg has worked on over the years.
Once you locate some potential prospects, reach out and inquire about their services. Ask questions that are specific to your case so the lawyer gets an understanding of what you need help with. A good way to determine if the lawyer is right for your case is if they can explain their services and make sure you get all information regarding the process if you choose them.
When it comes to finding legal help it’s important to ensure everyone involved is on the same page, especially when dealing with civil rights cases. Being thorough during this process will help ensure the best resolution for your case so don’t skip any steps in finding that perfect civil rights lawyer!
Greg Kirakosian and Malicious Prosecution in California
Greg Kirakosian is a respected California attorney who has worked to protect the rights of individuals facing malicious prosecution cases in the state for many years. His expertise in this area of law is unmatched, and he is passionate about helping innocent parties clear their good name. He regularly appears in court on behalf of those accused of crimes they did not commit, combing through police reports and eyewitness accounts to build solid counterarguments and prove sufficient doubt that his clients were falsely arrested or charged with a crime.
Kirakosian’s meticulous approach to protecting the civil rights of victims has consistently resulted in successful outcomes, garnering him attention from national media networks interested in covering stories related to wrongful convictions and successful outcomes in malicious prosecution cases.
Guide Summary and Conclusion
In conclusion, malicious prosecution cases can be complicated and financially draining, making it especially vital to consider the value of a case before you take it on with any attorney. Taking the time to research and considering why your case might be worth taking on can help you determine if pursuing malicious prosecution claims is the right decision for you.
Of course, finding a great civil rights lawyer who has experience in this type of law and who can work with you to present your case in court could also go a long way towards our desired outcome. Our firm, Kirakosian Law, specializes in litigating these types of cases and have had many successful outcomes over the years.
Regardless of where you live or the details of your specific case, our experienced attorneys are here to provide counsel and consultation as well as aggressive representation to ensure your rights are upheld throughout the process. Our history and past cases show that we are the best civil rights firm in California.