Personal Injury Law


Is there a tort that you can use or sue under if someone files false criminal charges against you?

Yes, the tort of malicious prosecution may provide you with redress if someone files false criminal charges against you. If a tortfeasor files false criminal charges, has no probable cause and acted out an improper motive, then the tortfeasor has committed the tort of malicious prosecution.

Unfortunately, some parents will file false legal actions against their former spouse in order to obtain an advantage in the child custody arena. The difficulty for someone suing for malicious prosecution is they have to show that the other person acted without probable cause. The person also has to prevail in the underlying criminal action. This means that if someone files false criminal charges against you but you plead guilty to avoid the hassle of going to trial, you forfeit your right to sue for malicious prosecution.

If you are attacked, you have the right to defend yourself without fear of being found guilty of assault if you are justified in your actions. Laws about using deadly force can vary from state to state, however (iStock).

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