If you are prosecuted by the Police and Crown Prosecution Service but subsequently found not guilty, then you may have a claim for Malicious Prosecution.
In order to claim compensation by Suing Police for Malicious Prosecution, it is necessary to prove that malice played a part in the Prosecution – such as fabricating or tampering with evidence to cover up failings in the original investigation.
The meaning of Malicious Prosecution is that police have pursued a Prosecution without a reasonable cause. Simple errors, Misjudgements or even Negligence by Police will not be enough to satisfy a court that any prosecution was truly Malicious.
This tough hurdle means you need experts on your side. Occasionally, our Professionals will advise other means of getting redress.
It is important to understand that being arrested and possible False Imprisonment are separate issues although if Malicious Prosecution is proven, the arrest may well have been wrongful and you may have also been Falsely Imprisoned.
The difference between False Imprisonment and Malicious Prosecution is connected with the issues of bad faith or malfeasance by officers. Their mistakes may lead to a claim for False Imprisonment or wrongful arrest but they need to have a wrongful motive for there to be a chance of a Malicious Prosecution case.
Examples of bad faith may involve bias by investigators, covering up errors or cases involving Police informers conspiring with officers. Your claim might also arise from the actions of the Crown Prosecution Service. When it is the prosecutors who have acted with malice the legal claim arises from mal pros as prosecutorial misconduct is sometimes known but the settlements and evidence required are similar.
If you win a Malicious Prosecution case, then the court will consider the Financial Settlement. The amount of the Settlement will also depend on how long the prosecution continued for. If the prosecution process was especially bad –perhaps because the malice was targeted in a vindictive way and t were humiliating- then aggravated damages may be awarded in the event of bringing a successful case.
As well as direct financial impacts from a failed prosecution such as loss of earnings, courts will also consider reputational damage based on the impact that the case has had on your standing in the community or employment prospects, for instance.
It is not only in police cases where Malicious Prosecution Settlement may be sought. Since 2013, UK law has allowed civil cases to be the subject of Malicious Prosecution claims. The circumstances where you can mount this kind of case arise after you were sued by a company or individual rather than being found not guilty of crime.
Just as in Police cases, errors alone by the party who took you to court will not be enough to prove such a case. Malice, such as bringing a civil claim against you while knowing evidence was false, must be present.
You must also prove that you have suffered damage as a result of the claim being brought and that this claim was brought Maliciously and without a reasonable cause. Before the crucial 2013 judgement by the Privy Council, the scope for making claims and for the damages achievable were strictly limited. The courts will now consider all foreseeable financial impacts arising from a proven case of Malicious Prosecution.
If you believe you have a claim for Malicious Prosecution, please get in touch today.