Malicious Prosecution

I was falsely arrested in a criminal case. I was not injured during the arrest. However, I was on probation at the time, so the new arrest caused me to have a detainer. I was found not guilty in the criminal case. I spent approximately a year in jail. Do I have a police brutality or civil rights case? You do. The name of your claim is malicious prosecution.

You can file a malicious prosecution claim in both federal and state court. You must have a prevailing outcome in the criminal case. This means you must be found not guilty or have the case dismissed in order to file the claim. The arrest must be based on the actions of a police officer, not based on a civilian complainant. You may still have a case under the law if it is a civilian complainant, but it won’t be worth much.

These are very good cases when the Plaintiff is found not guilty and it is a police case. For example, a drug case (PWID), possession of a firearm (VUFA), and assault on an officer are all good malicious prosecution civil rights cases.

Computing damages in a malicious prosecution case where there are no other claims (meaning no police brutality) is generally based on days in custody. The more time the bad arrest (malicious prosecution) kept the person in jail, the more the case is worth. If the plaintiff had a detainer caused by the false arrest in the case, the damages are slightly less than if the person was simply being held on bail. The reason for this is that while the arrest caused the detainer to lodge, there could not have been a detainer but a completely different case of which the officers were not part. However, my answer would change if it was the actual probation officer who put the new false arrest on the plaintiff.

Brian J. Zeiger, Esquire, is an experienced and successful criminal defense and civil rights attorney. He is a seasoned trial lawyer with significant experience before juries and judges. Brian understands civil rights cases, including Taser, Wrongful Death, Excessive Force, Police Brutality, Police Misconduct, Malicious Prosecution, Monell Claims, Sexual Assault, Prisoner’s Rights, Time Credit, Medical Malpractice, and Medical Indifference.