Can I sue someone who filed charges on me in crimal court for sexual misconduct?

I was found not guilty and had to pay a lawyer.

Asked on July 17, 2015 under Criminal Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Not being found guilty is not, by itself, enough to sue them, because the standard in a criminal case is so high ("proof beyond a reasonable doubt")--that fact that you were not convicted only means there wasn't enough evidence, not that the person filing charges acted maliciously or otherwise wrongfully. To successfully, sue, you'd need to be able to show that either this person specifically acted for improper reasons (e.g. not because he or she thought there was misconduct, but rather to punish you for something unrelated or extort you) and/or that no reasonable person could have *possibly* thought that there had been misconduct.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.