What are my rights regarding slander if I was arrested for allegedly distributing and manufacturing marijuana but the charges were dropped?

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What are my rights regarding slander if I was arrested for allegedly distributing and manufacturing marijuana but the charges were dropped?

The charges were settled in court and they were dropped. The father of the second party is threatening my employer that if they do not fire me they will go to the paper slandering the name of the business. Is this legal and what should I do?

Asked on May 9, 2013 under Personal Injury, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Slander is a form of defamation. Defamation is the publication or making to others of a false statement of fact which damages a person's (or business's) reputation. True facts are not defamation, even if harmful. If the father only reports the truth to a paper--that you were arrested for distribution and manufacture, but the charges were ultimately settled--he has done nothing illegal. Similarly, while someone may not use illegal means to pressure a person or business to do something (e.g. no threats of violence or of disclosing private or confidential information), there is nothing illegal about using legal pressure on a business (such as a boycott, for example); therefore, there appears to be nothing illegal about saying to a business that if it continues to employ a person who had been arrested for drugs, that another person will report a true story about that to the newspaper.

On the other hand, if what he reports is not the truth, that may  be defamation and give you and/or the business a legal claim against him.


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