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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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.


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