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Whether it’s a dishonest prosecutor illegitimately suing a corporation or a political rival filing false charges against his counterpart, all these cases fall under the purview of malicious prosecution. But what is malicious prosecution? 

Felonious and civil cases that don’t have adequate or valid evidence are often not pursued by malicious prosecution attorneys. However, sometimes civil lawsuits or criminal charges are maliciously filed to harass, intimidate, defame, or else cause harm for the other party, for which Los Angeles jurisdiction code allows the aggrieved party to deny these charges. 

Malicious prosecution, in its entirety, is a specific field of law that requires years of study to thoroughly grasp and apply. However, if you`ve been a victim of the former, rather than going through every subtle detail associated with your case, here’s everything you need to know, in layman’s terms, that`ll help you with your malicious prosecution case in Los Angeles. So, without further ado, let’s get straight to it. 


lawyer talking to a client


What is Malicious Prosecution?


Malicious prosecution usually befalls when one party has intentionally and with malicious intent started unjustified litigation against another party. This contains both civil claims and criminal charges, for which the root of action is basically the same. The core difference between claims grounded on criminal and civil actions relies on evidence collected by malicious prosecution attorneys in Los Angeles. 

For instance, mental illness is usually referred to as an element of general damages in a malicious criminal prosecution claim without any particular proof. But the accused person must be able to prove damages for claims based on civil actions. 

Most states in the United States, including California, allow retrieval for claims based on civil suits as long as the accuser (the Plaintiff in the case) can prove a lack of probable cause and malicious intent. 

In general, any malicious felonious proceeding that lacks probable cause — regardless of whether the accuser was indicted or even tried — may give an upsurge to a malicious prosecution claim. Even the malicious issuance of an arrest or search warrant without probable cause may lead to such a claim.


laywer helping a couple


Crucial Elements of Malicious Prosecution in Los Angeles


What is malicious prosecution in the state of California? An effective malicious prosecution claim in Los Angeles typically involves all of the following:

  • the offender began or continued a felonious or civil proceeding without realistic grounds to accept the allegations made in it
  • the perpetrator had any intent other than only getting a judgment in the legal proceeding, and
  • the proceeding has finished in favor of the individual that was being sued or prosecuted.

Let’s elaborate on these elements in more details:


Legal Proceeding Vs Civil Proceeding

A criminal proceeding is where the government can announce punishment to an individual for offenses ranging from homicide to a parking ticket.

On the other hand, a civil proceeding is typically where the accuser is not a governmental entity—although the perpetrator might be—and the claimant is suing for an injunction and/or money damages.


Probable Cause

The individual bringing the original lawsuit or prosecution must have probable cause, i.e., a judicious person in their place would think that the legal action was authentic and had high winning chances.


Inappropriate Purpose

As a rule, if a lack of a probable cause is proved, an unsuitable purpose will be expected. This means that the claimant in a malicious prosecution action does not essentially need to verify that the perpetrator had an inappropriate intention. However, if the suspect can prove that they had an appropriate purpose, the accuser will not win.

For instance, if a perpetrator was only doing what his or her malicious prosecution attorney suggested, even though the lawsuit had no grounded reason, the defendant may not be accountable for malicious prosecution, even though the claimant had mistakenly thought the lawsuit was legitimate.


Favorable Conclusion

Lastly, the plaintiff in a malicious prosecution suit must have effectively defended against and won the former illegal lawsuit. Simply put, if a person had to pay damages in a civil case or was found guilty of criminal charges, he or she possibly cannot sue for malicious prosecution based on that felonious or civil legal action.

Damages for Malicious Prosecution


Mainly, accusers in malicious prosecution cases demand to recover any charges they suffer because of the case they`ve been charged with. This can include malicious prosecution attorney’s fees, court filing payments, lost income due to time spent in prison, and other compensation. In some cases in Los Angeles, complainants can receive compensation for the emotional distress of surviving the justice system’s abuse. Accusers may also sue for lost future earning potential and spoiled reputation.

Anyone who goes through malicious prosecution needs to take action swiftly to protect his or her civil rights. Kirakosian Law, APC can help a malicious prosecution victim prove the perpetrator’s improper actions in question and help the victim obtain compensation for the distress faced.


Woman behind bars


Examples of Some Successful Malicious Prosecution Proceedings


Below are various examples of malicious prosecution claims that malicious prosecution attorneys successfully won. Bear in mind that all the elements listed above must be taken into account for the claim to be successful.

The discussed examples hereunder do not depict each element in every case, but they’re good representations of what might be associated with malicious prosecution in the real world.


  • A bank was successfully prosecuted for malicious prosecution after its staff members deliberately gave false information to the public prosecuting attorney about the criminal perpetrator’s (now the malicious prosecution claimant) allegedly unlawful banking activities.
  • When a suspect testified that he had a felonious affidavit filed against the claimant simply to collect a debt from the accuser, the accuser’s malicious prosecution lawsuit was successful because the perpetrator used the felonious process for an inappropriate purpose.
  • When a perpetrator confessed that he did not know who stole his property, that confession proved he had the complainant arrested for an improper motive, leading to a malicious prosecution claim.
  • A law enforcement officer did not give all of the proofs when he obtained an arrest warrant on the litigant for possession of unlawful hypodermic needles. When there was no evidence that the claimant was using the needles for illegal purposes, the accuser successfully sued for malicious prosecution.


banging a gavel


What Is a Malicious Prosecution Victim Required to Do in Los Angeles?


Malicious prosecution victims face various problems in pursuing damages for such incidents. Firstly, proving that the case was illicitly filed. The other challenge lies in the lawful concept of succeeded immunity.

Many law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles are immune from authorized action from private citizens except under exceptional conditions. The victim will need to provide evidence that the malicious prosecutor acted outside the bounds of his/her position and was engaged in unreasonable and willful conduct.

The final obstacle for malicious prosecution victims lies in State laws. Some states define unfair trials and malicious prosecution in a different way and will allow an accuser to sue for one, but not the other. Furthermore, the above-mentioned elements of a malicious prosecution case may lead a judge to terminate the claims or allow the accuser to file an action for a false trial.


How to Contact a Malicious Prosecution Attorney for Filing Claims?


So, what is malicious prosecution? Malicious prosecution is essentially the act of bringing a lawsuit without adequate justification or for an inappropriate purpose. For this reason, defending against fabricated criminal accusations can be upsetting for anybody, especially if they were brought with malice. In a similar vein, facing a lawsuit can be detrimental to one’s mental health.

If you also believe you were sued or feloniously charged for reasons other than the quest for righteousness, contact experienced attorneys at Kirakosian Law, APC at their Los Angeles office.

To schedule your consultation in Los Angeles, dial 213-444-2908.

These blogs are meant purely for educational purposes. They contain only general information about legal matters. They are not legal advice, and should not be treated as such. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult with an attorney at Kirakosian Law Group.


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