If you believe that you have been maliciously prosecuted or have been accused of malicious prosecution, you must seek legal advice as soon as possible. At Van Eaton Solicitors in London, we have put together this guide where we will look at malicious prosecution law in the United Kingdom and how you can support your case.
What is Malicious Prosecution?
Malicious prosecution refers to the authorities such as the police (or any other prosecuting officials) having brought a charge or trying to pursue prosecution with malicious intent against an individual. It is different from being wrongfully arrested, falsely imprisoned, or wrongly accused of a crime, though these things can happen at the same time.
The difference between false imprisonment claims and malicious prosecution claims are that the latter requires bad faith or misconduct on the part of the police and/or the prosecuting authority. Officer errors may give rise to claims for unlawful imprisonment in the sense of false arrest, but they will not give rise to a successful claim for malicious prosecution in the absence of bad faith.
Malicious prosecution is a wrongful act, which means that it is a wrong committed outside of its contract or agreement. The public expects people in authority such as law enforcement officers and prosecutors to act in good faith.
Who can Claim?
Claims must be supported by evidence that the police would have no reason to pursue a prosecution. Any court case must have resulted in a favourable outcome for the defendant, such as the case being dismissed, or the defendant is found not criminally responsible (not guilty). When there is evidence that charges have been brought against you with malice, we may be able to assist you in obtaining the justice you deserve.
The ‘malice’ associated with a claim should always be much more than spite or ill-will, and it must have resulted in real damage. This could cause damage to your:
What Compensation Can You Claim?
Being arrested on suspicion of a crime can have long-term consequences. It is not enough to be proven innocent if you and your family have already suffered harm. In a malicious prosecution case, you can seek compensation for the following:
Because of the false charge, business or earnings were lost.
Property damage has occurred.
Many of us strive to live responsible lives on the right side of the law, and we expect others to do the same. People may treat you differently if you have faced criminal charges, irrespectively of what a court decides. Work and family life may be affected: you may feel as if your employment opportunities are dwindling, and your relationships are suffering. Bringing a malicious prosecution claim can help to right this wrong and provide financial compensation for the losses you have suffered because of someone else’s actions.
What to do Next
Finding knowledgeable legal advice is critical to trying to pursue a successful claim. Van Eaton Solicitors has extensive experience assisting clients with malicious prosecution claims. We go to great lengths to ensure that our clients have access to justice. We can also help you protect your good name and manage your or your company’s reputation. If you have been the victim of malicious prosecution, please contact our London-based lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call us at 0208 769 6739 or fill out our online form to schedule your consultation today.