Can I either file a complaint against the witness or sue him for my attorney's fees? 28 Answers as of May 28, 2013

I was arrested for a breaking a window but I did not do it. The charges were dropped at pre-trial, but I paid $2500 for attorney's fees. The only thing the state had was an eyewitness statement that positively identified me as the person who did it. However, I had video proof that I was somewhere else at the time.

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Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
Your question requires an attorney consultation. It is not a simple question that can be answered on this type of forum. There are many factors that would need to be considered and evaluated. I strongly suggest that you contact an experienced attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding your situation. He/she would then be in a better position to analyze your case and advise you of your options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/16/2012
James M. Osak, P.C.
James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
It's tough suing witnesses. The state WANTS witnesses to come forward. You MIGHT have a suit here though and maybe against the cops and prosecutor. Talk to a local attorney.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/16/2012
Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
You cannot sue the witness. He did not file the action. He did not prosecute the action.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/16/2012
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
Unless you can prove he was deliberately lying rather than being mistaken you will not succeed.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/16/2012
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
Perhaps consider asking the police to prosecute the witness for perjury and asking for $2500 restitution.
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 9/16/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/28/2013
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    It is possible to sue for malicious prosecution but those are tough cases.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Unless you can prove malicious prosecution you cannot sue anyone. If the witness or the police made a mistake you have no case. If they intentionally set you up knowing you were innocent and you can prove that fact then you might find a civil lawyer to sue one or more of the people involved.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    Talk to a civil lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Hire a civil attorney to handle a civil lawsuit, but be prepared to pay for the consultation, and be ready to be rejected by the attorney, as your cause of action seems very weak.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    You can consult with a civil attorney to see if there is a cause of action for you to pursue.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Talk with your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    No. All witness testimony, reports, etc are immune from legal action. Otherwise everyone would be afraid to report a crime for fear of being sued.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    The lawsuit would be for malicious prosecution. You might be able to bring a lawsuit against a person who intentionally had you arrested for a frivious reason but not a law enforcement agency or member acting under the color of law.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    You would have to prove that the witness absolutely knew he was lying. You will probably fail in that. It is probably best to let it go. But you do have a statute of limitations on malicious prosecution so talk to a civil attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Generally not. You would have to show that this person actually knew you were not the person who committed the crime and despite knowing that, intentionally filed a false police report for the sole purpose of doing you wrong. Absent such, the answer is "No".
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Unless you can show that the accusation was knowingly false and malicious you have now recovery from the "witness".
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Myles Hahn III Attorney at Law | Myles Hahn III
    You are not likely to succeed, based on what you have stated.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Sure you can, just be prepared to cough up a few hundred dollars per hour in legal fees that you will need to pay another lawyer to sue on your behalf.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Meyer & Kiss, LLC
    Meyer & Kiss, LLC | Louis J. Meyer
    Is there a reason this witness identified you? You will need to prove the witness identified you out of malice to recover under a theory of malicious prosecution.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/22/2013
    Langford Law Firm
    Langford Law Firm | Theresa Langford
    The burden is on you to prove that the prosecution was false and fraudulent and malicious. If it was a merely a mistake, then no.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    You should consult a civil attorney regarding a potential lawsuit against the complaining witness.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    T.K. Byrne | Timothy K. Byrne
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 5/28/2013
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    If the eye witness sincerely believed you were the one who broke the window, then you can't file a complaint or sue him for honest testimony. If the witness did this to harass you or cause you trouble, and you can prove that, then you may have a case. If you came to me with this issue, though, I would not take the case on a contingency, and would probably charge you more than the $2,500 you are trying to recover.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    No, the law does not recognize that claim.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Sue the person for malicious prosecution. You will have to pay an attorney to do so, but part of the damages to you was the attorney fees you paid in the criminal case.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/16/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    If you had video proof, why did you pay an attorney $ 2500, when you could have just shown your video proof to the prosecutor and got the charges dismissed? Did you try that? I suspect that the video proof was not as convicing as might have hoped. However, you are free to sue whomever you want to sue. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 9/16/2012
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