We all like to think that others have good intentions in the actions they take. And while law enforcement and state actors typically act with the best interests of the general public in mind, this unfortunately is not always the case. When individuals are charged with a drug crime, this does not automatically mean that the evidence collected is valid or that the arresting or prosecuting party has a valid claim to pursue an arrest or resulting charges. Because of this, it is vital that defendants understand that they could have been wrongfully charged due to malicious intent by law enforcement.
Malicious prosecution could occur if the case lacks sufficient evidence but is still pursued. In these matters, these cases are typically filed as a means to intimidate, harass, defame or otherwise injure the accused. While malicious prosecution could occur in both criminal and civil matters, when they occur in criminal matters, it is likely that a defendant could face serious penalties if they do not take a stand and bring light to the situation.
What constitutes malicious prosecution? This occurs when a party knowingly and with malicious intent initiates litigation against another party. So what can a defendant do if he or she believes that he or she is a victim of malicious prosecution? To begin, a defendant can use this in their defense strategy. If there is a lack of probable cause and it is proven that the other party had malicious intent, this could be used to have the charges dropped against the defendant.
If malicious intent is proven, a defendant may have the opportunity to take legal action for the damages suffered. This means filing a civil action for damages arising from the malicious prosecution of him or her. In criminal matters, there is no special proof required to collect damages in these matters.
Being charged with a drug crime is no easy situation. However, taking immediate action following the charges could uncover vital information that could help you with your defense. By exploring your defense options, you open up the opportunity to clear your name and avoid serious consequences.
Source: Findlaw.com, "Malicious Prosecution," Accessed Dec. 31, 2017