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Austin Criminal Law 101: What Is Malicious Prosecution?

When it comes to malicious prosecution, there are several factors you need to understand. For this reason, we have discussed all the important points that you need to keep in mind before filing a case against anyone and claiming malicious prosecution. 

The most important thing to know is there can be strong punishment and hefty charges if you fail to prove your point. So, it’s better to choose an experienced or skilled attorney to win the case.

Spare a few minutes, and read this article further to get an idea about malicious prosecution. 

Malicious Prosecution: The Basics

It occurs when one party with malicious intent knowingly attempts to make a baseless allegation and sue the other party. Malicious prosecution includes both civil claims and criminal charges. Additionally, the main difference between civil and criminal actions depends on the evidence.

Many states offer recovery for claims on civil suits if the plaintiff proves a lack of probable cause and malicious intent. On the other hand, some states need a direct injury to, or interference with, the plaintiff. For instance, defamation due to a malicious lawsuit, such as experiencing loss in business due to damaged reputation, will come in the category of compensable injury. 

Typically, malicious criminal proceedings with no appropriate or probable cause can result in a malicious prosecution claim. In fact, issuing a search warrant without probable cause can lead to these claims. 

Essential Factors You Need to Know About Malicious Prosecution

For the malicious prosecutions claim, you need to fulfill the following requirements.

  • The defendant should have a purpose, which should not be a way to get the judgment in the proceeding.
  • The defendant continued or began a civil or criminal legal proceeding without appropriate and reasonable grounds to prove their point
  • The proceeding will terminate in favor of the individual being sued or prosecuted 

To make it clear, let’s discuss these elements precisely. 

A Proceeding

It is important to note that a criminal proceeding is a process where the state or national governments punish an individual for offenses, ranging from parking tickets to homicide. 

Moreover, a civil proceeding is where the plaintiff is not your government institution, and the plaintiff might be suing for an injunction or money damages. Usually, individuals bring the civil or criminal proceeding by believing that they will win the case and using a legitimate reason to sue the other party. However, they might face malicious prosecution if they know that they will not win the case but continue for wrong and personal motives.

Reasonable Grounds

This is the most important thing to prevent you from getting into legal problems. If you bring the original prosecution or lawsuit, you need to have reasonable grounds to show that your action is legitimate. Not to mention, it will also show that you have great chances to win the case. 

Improper Purpose

Generally, if the lawyer proves the lack of probable cause, the court will assume it as an improper purpose. As a result, it will show that the plaintiff in this malicious prosecution action doesn’t have to prove or give evidence that the defendant had an improper purpose. Contrary, if the defendant proves that they have an appropriate purpose, the plaintiff will not win the case. 

For instance, if a defendant follows the leads and recommendations of their attorney when the lawsuit doesn’t have any probable cause, then the court will not consider the defendant liable for the malicious prosecution. This point will only work for the defendant if they mistakenly believe that their lawsuit is legitimate.

Favorable Termination

The plaintiff in the prosecution needs to win the previous case. In this case, if the person was found guilty or had to pay penalties and damages in a lawsuit, they typically can’t sue the other party for malicious prosecution based on the civil or criminal legal action.

Bottom line

When it comes to malicious prosecution, whether you are going against someone or are the target, you need a professional attorney like Austin Criminal Lawyer to save yourself from punishments and legal problems. Make sure that your lawyer has the expertise, specialization, and experience to win your case.

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