Can i sue for false imprisonment even though the charge is on my record but i can dispute i did not technically do the crime?

Asked over 1 year ago - Cleveland, OH

hello. unfortunately i have charges of menacing and either menacing by stalking or aggravated menacing on my record. in both cases this was because some pedestrians thought i was following them by car. i spent 6 months in jail for the menacing by stalking and 3 days for menacing. however im ready to argue that i didnt do the crimes because i did not KNOWINGLY cause fear in anyone. i would try to get these charges taken off post sentence right away if i had the money but i dont. so i was wondering if there is a chance i can sue for false imprisonment by contingencey to get the money if im able to argue that i technically didnt do it because it was not knowingly and i have documented autism that says i dont understand social rules? however the charges are still on my record. thanks

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Donald Michael Gallick


    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . That civil case will be dead on arrival unless you reopen the criminal case and get your conviction vacated. If you were convicted in a court of law, your incarceration cannot be considered false imprisonment.

    You would have to find an appellate attorney to file a delayed appeal, motion for a new trial, or post-conviction petition. None of these options are easy roads -- especially after the case is closed -- and they will require an attorney to engage in long hours of historical research and legal work.

  2. Christopher Lee Beck


    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . Can you bring the suit? Sure. Is it likely that you will be successful? No. Even when a person is not convicted these cases are extremely difficult. They are almost impossible if a person is convicted. With regards to your contingency question. It is unethical for an attorney to take a criminal case on contingency fee. Your plea withdrawal would be considered a criminal case and therefore an attorney is not ethically permitted to take this case on a contingency fee. The false imprisonment could be contingency but because of the remote possibility of success I imagine it will be difficult to find an attorney willing to take the case. Good luck.

    Attorney Chris Beck
    Beck Law Office, L.L.C.
    Beavercreek, Ohio
    (937)510-6110 phone
    (937)867-4111 fax

    The responses of Attorney Chris Beck to any questions posed on Avvo do NOT establish an Attorney-client... more
  3. Robert Francis Healey Jr.


    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . The proper time to say not guilty is at arraignment. You should have also asked for an appointed lawyer at no cost if you qualified at arraignment. I am unclear if you pled guilty or were found guilty. You missed the deadline for appeal.
    Most jails are under a sovern immunity unbrella. As long as your papers said hold him six months, they acted in good faith. They are also usually immune from ordinary negligence. You would need to retain a lawyer to recall your plea if you were not found guilty at trial. If you could even find a lawyer to try this it could cost several thousand dollars. It cannot be contingent in Ohio in a criminal case.
    Your best bet might be to hire a lawyer to investigate your right to an expungement.

  4. Jesse Michael Schmidt

    Contributor Level 5

    Answered . You cannot sue for false imprisonment in Ohio if you were convicted and the conviction has not been vacated. Even if it is vacated and there is no conviction, these claims are very hard to win in Ohio. A not guilty verdict does not guarantee a win.

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