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Among the civil rights abuses that can occur at the hands of the government, malicious prosecution and prosecutorial misconduct can be the most devastating to one’s reputation in the community and personal and professional life, as well as lead to loss of freedom or financial penalties if allowed to go unchecked. Our office fights all forms of prosecutorial misconduct, as well as excessive force and other examples of police liability for civil rights violations.
In short, a malicious prosecution is one that is undertaken in bad faith or for improper motives. It must also be shown that a criminal proceeding was initiated without probable cause, and that the proceeding terminated in favor of the accused, such as through a dismissal of the case or a not guilty verdict. Abuse of process and other types of prosecutorial misconduct may also be challenged in state or federal court under civil rights laws such as section 1983.
The District Attorney or prosecutor is one of the most powerful persons in government who can directly affect your life. In many cases, the DA decides who to seek charges against and when to file charges, as well as what charges to file. The prosecutor does not only step into the picture after an arrest has been made. Unless the police actually witness a crime, they rarely arrest people without some prior direction, either through a citizen complaint or an indictment issued by the prosecutor through the grand jury process.
Although there are many checks in place to prevent prosecutorial misconduct, civil action by the target of the abuse is one of the most important and effective. A lawsuit can bring public attention and awareness to a problem, and judicial remedies can make sure such abuses do not occur to others. If you have been subject to malicious prosecution or other prosecutorial misconduct in New York City, contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. for assistance.