As a business owner, it is crucial to understand the risks associated with malicious prosecution claims in the UK and the steps you can take to protect yourself and your business. Malicious prosecution is a legal concept that, in the UK, applies when someone has been falsely accused or wrongly charged with a criminal offence. In such cases, the accused may be able to take legal action against the accuser.
In this article – we will provide an overview of malicious prosecution and how to handle such claims in the UK. We will also discuss the elements of a malicious prosecution claim, how to protect yourself from such claims, and what to do if you’ve been wrongfully accused of a crime.
What is Malicious Prosecution?
A civil cause of action in which a person is sued for unlawfully beginning criminal proceedings against another person is known as malicious prosecution. The accuser must have acted maliciously and without reasonable or probable cause. Malicious prosecution is a common law tort (civil wrong) that can be pursued by the accused in the United Kingdom.
The accuser must have acted without reasonable or probable cause, which means the accusation must have been made without any reasonable proof or facts. The accuser must also have behaved with malice, which means that they fabricated a false charge or initiated a false case deliberately or negligently.
Elements of a Malicious Prosecution Claim
To bring a successful malicious prosecution claim, the claimant must be able to prove all of the following elements:
The prosecution was initiated by the accused person.
The accused person acted without reasonable or probable cause.
The accused person acted with malice.
The prosecution was terminated in favour of the accused.
The accused suffered damage as a result of the prosecution.
How to Protect Yourself from Malicious Prosecution Claims
The best way to protect yourself from malicious prosecution claims is to ensure that you are never in a position where you are falsely accusing someone of a crime. If you have evidence that someone has committed a crime, make sure to investigate fully and obtain all the facts before proceeding with any action.
If someone makes a complaint against you, make sure to obtain legal advice as soon as possible. It is important to understand your rights and obligations in such cases and to take appropriate steps to protect yourself.
What to do if You Have Been Wrongfully Accused of a Crime
If you have been wrongfully accused of a crime, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. A solicitor can help you understand your rights and advise you on the best course of action. You may also be able to take legal action against the accuser for malicious prosecution. It is also important to keep records of any evidence or information that may help prove your innocence. This could include witness statements, police reports, and any other documents that are relevant to your case.
Malicious prosecution is a complex legal concept that applies when someone is wrongfully accused of a crime in the UK. To protect yourself from such claims, you must ensure that you are never in a position where you are falsely accusing someone of a crime. If you have been wrongfully accused, it is crucial to seek legal advice and to keep records of any evidence that could help prove your innocence.
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 business’s reputation. If you have been the victim of malicious prosecution, please contact our London-based solicitors for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call us at 0208 769 6739 or fill out our online form to schedule your consultation today.