All You Need To Know About Malicious Prosecution

When a criminal or civil case is filed without sufficient basis or for the wrong purpose, the victim has the right to sue the defendant for malicious prosecution. The law prohibits any individual from abusing the legal process. According to the website of Clawson and Staubes, LLC Injury Group, being wrongfully accused of a crime can bring humiliation and embarrassment to the plaintiff.

In order to succeed with a malicious prosecution case, there are four elements that needs to be proven:

1. The original case was dismissed in the victim’s favor

The victim must prove to the court that the case was dismissed in his favor. If there was a plea deal or the victim pleaded to a lesser charge, a successful malicious prosecution case is unlikely. Likewise, if there was a not guilty verdict, proving malicious prosecution can be difficult.

2. Active involvement

For their case to be successful, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the prosecutor played an active role in the criminal case. For instance, it was the prosecutor who filed the charges, handled the case, and supervised the other attorneys handling the case.

3. Probable cause

The prosecutor must be able to prove that the defendant had probable cause to commit a crime. If they are able to gather enough evidence to support reasonable suspicion for committing a crime or that it was more likely for the defendant to commit the crime, then there is probable cause.

4. Improper Purpose

To prove improper purpose, the plaintiff must be able to show that the prosecution did not make a mistake or gathered information but relied on that wrong information. Pursuing the case despite the lack of probable cause is a good example of improper purpose.

However, the problem with filing a malicious prosecution case is that the prosecutor is immuned from any liability in such types of cases. Such immunity is designed to protect prosecutors and other law enforcers so that they can do their jobs without having to defend themselves from allegations of malicious prosecution.

However, if it can be proven that the prosecutor acted beyond his authority by instigating or pursuing a criminal case, they may be exempted from such immunity.

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