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Definition of Malicious Prosecution

Malicious prosecution occurs when one party files an untrue or baseless legal complaint against another without probable cause. Common types of malicious prosecution include a malicious tort, improper civil suit or improper criminal allegation.

To prove malicious prosecution in a lawsuit the victim generally has to prove the police officer or government agent initiated the criminal prosecution, the proceedings were initiated without probable cause, the proceedings were brought with malice and ended in the favor of the victim.

Winning a malicious prosecution lawsuit can be tough because most officers and government officials have broad protection through qualified immunity statutes. Exceptions may exist if you can prove willful and unreasonable conduct on the part of the officer or agent. Given the complexity of the laws surrounding this issue if you think you have a case you will need to talk to a civil rights lawyer.

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