Malicious Prosecution in New York

bailiff in the courtroom

In our legal justice system, prosecutors have a tremendous amount of authority and power to press criminal charges against citizens. An oft-repeated line originally attributed to a former New York State chief judge suggests that a district attorney could have a ham sandwich indicted if he wanted.

Malicious prosecution, or taking a person to court on false charges, is thankfully the exception rather than the rule, but unfortunately it does occur. If you have been the victim of such an injustice, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and uncertain where to turn. But it is important to remember that you are not alone. Such activity is illegal, the law is on your side and we can help you to seek justice.

If you have been notified of legal charges against you that are false or have been cleared of phony charges, contact Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. for legal assistance as soon as possible. We can assist and advise you, and help to mitigate or end the personal and financial damage that a malicious prosecution may cause.

What is Malicious Prosecution?

Malicious prosecution is taking a person to court on false charges. Malicious prosecution is distinct from false arrest or false imprisonment. In most cases, a person is falsely charged with a crime, but malicious prosecution may also apply to civil complaints such as lawsuits that are without merit. Taking false legal action through the courts to harass, embarrass or cost someone money is also sometimes known as engaging in vexatious litigation.

Being falsely accused of a crime or any misdeed in the public arena of the courts can have a devastating effect on your life, even if you are ultimately found not guilty. Your reputation, career and relationships can be harmed irreparably. The costs to defend yourself can be terribly destructive financially.

The response to this kind of legal harassment is known as pursuing a malicious prosecution claim. Such a claim seeks compensation for the legal costs (attorney’s fees and court costs) of defending yourself against the original charge and for such injuries as:

  • Humiliation
  • Mentalsuffering
  • Discomfort
  • Loss of reputationandcredit
  • Injury to health
  • Loss of time
  • Deprivation of societywith

A malicious prosecution claim seeks punitive damages, which may be awarded to punish the responsible party and serve as a warning to those who would act in a similar fashion.

A malicious prosecution complaint must be based on a proceeding that was conducted against you but ultimately terminated in your favor. You must be able to demonstrate that there was a lack of probable cause for initiating the proceeding, that the defendant was active in the start or progress of charges against you, and that actual malice was involved in bringing the case forward. Probable cause means that the arresting officer and/or prosecutor had knowledge of a crime being committed or reasonably trustworthy information leading to this belief.

We Stand Up for Victims of Malicious Prosecution

If you have been subject to false and malicious prosecution, you need legal assistance right away. Particularly if you have been charged with a criminal complaint in New York City courts, you need an attorney who is ready and able to go toe-to-toe with a NYC prosecutor.

Hecht, Kleeger and Damashek, P.C. is a New York City law firm with the experience and resources to properly represent you in a malicious prosecution claim. We will thoroughly investigate your case and work diligently to right the wrong that has been done to you. We will seek evidence that demonstrates:

  • Failure to make complete and true statements regarding charges against you
  • Failure to fully investigate the facts of allegations made against you
  • Misrepresentation or fabrication of evidence
  • Obtaining apparent probable cause through false means
  • Obtaining an unwarranted indictment.

Technically, the legal action of a malicious prosecution case focuses on the abuse of the legal process, not on the allegedly untruthful and/or defamatory statements made about the plaintiff. The defendant must have in some way initiated the false charges against the plaintiff or helped to keep them alive.

The investigation required to mount a malicious prosecution claim may find that the prosecutor was acting in good faith and was, in fact, misled by the police involved with the case. In some cases, a third party may have misled the police and district attorney and is rightly the object of the malicious prosecution complaint.

Malicious prosecution cases must be balanced with the ability of the courts and the police to pursue cases without fear of retaliation. A malicious prosecution claim will only be successful if solid evidence can be compiled and presented in a convincing manner.

The final result of a successful malicious prosecution claim is appropriate and full restitution to you for the damage caused and for the pain you have suffered, as well as the court’s rebuke of the prosecutor’s and/or others’ wrongful abuse of you and the justice system.

It is your right to seek restitution for the financial and personal injustice you have had to bear because of false charges leveled against you. If you think you have a claim, you owe it to yourself as well as others who may face the same abuse to discuss your legal options with a New York attorney who understands malicious prosecution claims.

Contact Us to Fight Back Against Malicious Prosecution

If you have been the target of a criminal or civil complaint as a means of harassment, intimidation or other abuse, you need legal representation now. At Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., we will approach your case energetically from the outset. We can assist and advise you as you face charges and/or follow up with a malicious prosecution claim on your behalf once charges are withdrawn, dismissed or decided in your favor. We will conduct a thorough investigation and collect evidence to help build a compelling case on your behalf.

Contact us today for a free consultation so that you may have your questions answered and understand the process ahead. Hecht Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. is here to provide you with the legal representation you both need and deserve.

Sources:

The Big Apple – “Indict a ham sandwich”

Uncited sourceshttp://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/malicious+prosecution
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/malicious_prosecution