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Im in a criminal case someone falsely accused me I was wondering if I can sue them and the state in civil court

Middletown, CT |

Can I sue the state and the witness at the same time while im still fighting the criminal case or do I have to wait until it is over to sue?

Attorney Answers 2


All calls, statements and reports to cops, all law enforcement, and all government boards, agencies and offices, as well as during legal/court proceedings and paperwork are protected and immune from civil lawsuits no matter how false, frequent or evil. So you can not sue the state or the accuser for this. Making such false reports is a crime, but only the government can prosecute crimes, you can not. You can do your best to bring the falsity to the authorities' attention, and if they want, they can investigate and perhaps prosecute, but you can not force them. If you can prove misconduct by the state, then a civil rights lawyer (and your criminal defense lawyer) can pursue it--many hoops to jump through to sue the govt. It's not enough that the prosecution loses, there has to be actual proof of misconduct. Your lawyer can investigate.

We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I have made do not constitute legal advice. Any statements I have made are based upon the very limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in California.

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You should wait until the issue is over. Many of the facts will have flushed themselves out by that point. If you can prove you were wrongfully accused, you must also prove your damages. Loss of time from work or even loss of the job entirely, or any other damages. If you were in the newspaper for having been arrested, there is also damages for slander against the accuser. Suing the police is a whole other scenario. They are ethically bound to make an arrest under certain circumstances and you do not provide enough information in your question to properly answer you. But, you have a one year statue of limitations to put them on notice of your intention to sue from the date of the incident. Do not wait to have your attorney send them a notice of your intention to sue. You need to discuss your matter with a Civil Rights attorney right away. A year from the date of the incident can fly by very quickly.

These materials have been prepared by the Law Offices of Heath D. Harte, LLC for informational purposes only and are not intended, and should not be construed as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Likewise, any submission or receipt of information using this online communication, does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon any of the information provided without seeking professional counsel.

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Heath D. Harte

Heath D. Harte


In order to have a reasonable chance in a lawsuit against the Police Department for false arrest you must be considered a "prevailing party" in the criminal case that led to your imprisonment. This means you must have received a "not guilty" after trial, received a dismissal of your case without using a program, or had your conviction overturned on appeal. You could also receive a Nolle and still sue for false arrest if you did not do anything in exchange for the Nolle such as community service or make a donation. Basically, you must win your criminal case to be able to sue for false arrest. Similarly, to prove that the Police Department committed libel per se as regards to the conduct that led to your arrest and incarceration your chance of winning is based on whether you won your criminal case through a dismissal, a Nolle, a "not guilty" finding, or reversal on appeal. Make an appointment with a civil rights attorney to review the facts of your case as all cases are unique and this response may not apply to your particular circumstances or take into account facts that were not presented in your question.

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