What can my friend do if he has been accused of rape? 38 Answers as of June 19, 2013

My friend is being accused with rape, but I'm sure the charges will fall through. Can he sue? He is visibly distressed and depressed over the matter. When and if the case is dismissed, can he sue for slander/libel/etc? And if so what damages could be rewarded?

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
If he is charged with the crime and if the case is dismissed or if he is acquitted after trial he could file a civil lawsuit for damages. I would need a lot more information to determine what the extent of his damages are ( how much the case is worth ).
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/6/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
Anyone can sue another for perceived damages in civil court. The ultimate decision as to whether the suit will be allowed is up to the Judge.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 10/5/2011
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
If you need specific legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. If the person was wrongfully charged and their charges are dismissed, there may be civil remedies available through a lawsuit in Federal or State court for wrongful imprisonment or other potential torts. These lawsuits may be for significant amounts of money. However, they may take years and are often time consuming and expensive to pursue. State law provides certain protections for prosecutors and law-enforcement against these types of claims and the burden of proof can be challenging. However, if there is a sufficient factual basis, these types of cases are certainly worth pursuing.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/5/2011
Connell-Savela
Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
1st he gets an attorney and does not discuss the "facts" with anyone but the attorney 2nd - get a confidential therapist these cases take time bc they are serious - if he fails to treat it serious, then he may be spending a lot more time with the case bc he will be found guilty of something - get a really good sex assault attorney.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 10/5/2011
Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
He may have a civil suit against the person who made the claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress and possibly defamation. He would need to speak with an attorney who specializes in such cases for a more accurate assessment. There is really no point in suing the person if they have no money to be gotten anyway. He would only have a claim against the police or prosecution if he was prosecuted falsely meaning that they knew he was not guilty or couldn't be proven to be guilty but they decided to prosecute him anyway. Those can be difficult to prove. If he was actually convicted that would make his case stronger. Not so much if they see the light and dismiss the case once they realize that is what they should do. Seek out an attorney that does such civil suits for a consultation on the matter. If your friend has been charged with rape, he needs to get a criminal attorney right away. That is a very serious charge with extremely serious life consequences.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/5/2011
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    He can bring a civil suit as well as a criminal case for malicious prosecution - I am unable to offer an opinion as to the amount of damages as I do not practice in that area of law.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/5/2011
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
    Anyone can sue. Does he have a chance to win? I doubt it, based on the sparse info in your question. No, there's no slander/libel case here, unless she put it in the newspapers, radio, etc causing him some type of damages. What are his damages? Anything?
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/5/2011
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law | Michael R. Nack
    The very first thing is that your friend needs to hire the best criminal defense attorney he can afford even if you are sure that the charges will fall through. If he does not beat the rape charge, he will not have any case against the person falsely accusing him.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    If there were no basis for the charges and the person making the claim knew it, there may be a civil claim for damages. How much he could be awarded would depend on his actual damages. Even if awarded damages, the next question is how would he collect?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    If someone has made a false police report, he can sue that individual for damages.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Fabian & Associates, Inc.
    Fabian & Associates, Inc. | Stephen G. Fabian, Jr.
    Hire a good lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    If the charges are false and can be proven so he can sue the accuser for damages. Suing the police is not an option if they acted in good faith based on the accuser's allegations and then followed departmental and Constitutional guidelines.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    From a criminal law view, your friend should have an attorney represent him. Whatever the cost is nothing compared to having a conviction for rape on your record. As to the matter if he can sue that is dependent on the facts of what happened. He can always sue in civil court it is what is the chance of winning. As to damages that depend on what happened to your friend due to the charges.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    It is unlikely a false charge against him would allow him any recourse to file civil damages suit. Assuming he is not a public figure, it makes libel and slander difficult to show, in addition to having to show actual damages suffered. He can certainly attempt such a suit but the likelihood of success is not great.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Yes, a person can sue for libel and false imprisonment for a false claim of rape. However, the criminal case must be dismissed or he must be acquitted. In Colorado a civil case such as this has a one year statute of limitations.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Talk to an attorney who practices civil law, this is not the subject for criminal attorney to discuss. He should have a criminal attorney if charges are filed, however, as the allegations are very serious, with severe consequences.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    He should firts be worrying about prevailing on the criminal charges. One thing and the most important thing fisrt, at a time.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Ifhe can prove she lied - not so easy - yes he can sue for damages. If she filed a false police report he might be able toget the DA to prosecute her for the false police report.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Todd Landgren, Professional Law Corp.
    Todd Landgren, Professional Law Corp. | Todd Landgren
    FIRST the charges must be dismissed, THEN think about suing!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Law Offices of George Woodworth & Associates
    Law Offices of George Woodworth & Associates | George Woodworth
    First things first. Defeat the rape case, and THEN pursue other remedies. As I recently got a rape charge dismissed, I can tell you that the D.A. probably will not bring a major Felony charge like rape without some evidence. I had to really dig to find the facts that convinced them to end the case. So your friend needs to do similar work, win the case, and then sue for damages.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC | Elizabeth Zwiebel
    He may be able to sue depending on the circumstances. Your friend needs to hire an attorney to help explore all options that may be available. The amount that can be recovered varies by case.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    First rule no statements to the police without and attorney. Second rule Get an attorney. These are serious charges and in Michigan can carry Mandatory Prison. Worry about suing after the case is over.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/19/2013
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You do not know if your friend is guilty or innocent. The police do not know either, they just know what the woman told them. He should retain a good criminal lawyer to investigate the matter. If he is guilty and they can prove it he will be advised to plead guilty. If he is innocent he will go to trial. Either way he is not going to be able to sue anyone unless they admit that they lied or set him up.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    How are you "sure" the charges will fall through? There are many documented cases of innocent men sitting in jail after being wrongfully convicted on false allegations of rape. Instead of thinking about money, I think you should focus your efforts on making sure he does not get convicted. As for civil matters, the threshold for the police to have probable cause to arrest him is very minimal. If the case is he said/she said, his case will be a very weak one assuming that the accuser even has money to pay damages.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. Depending on what happens he might have claims for defamation of character, malicious prosecution and false arrest.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Laguzzi Law, P.C.
    Laguzzi Law, P.C. | Carina Laguzzi
    Unfortunately his likelihood at bringing a successful lawsuit are unlikely. However, the most important thing he can do right now is hire an experienced criminal defense attorney that has experience in these sort of cases.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    The Law Offices of William B. Mange
    The Law Offices of William B. Mange | William B. Mange
    This is not a criminal defense question. You have assumed that you know the answer to the question of what will happen with your friend's criminal law problem, and now want me to offer an opinion about civil law questions regarding slander and libel. This is not a question for a criminal defense lawyer. It's a question for a civil litigator. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Anything would be pure speculation at this point. But, he could sue for defamation of character, problem is how did it hurt him financially. Need to start documenting lost business or therapy bills.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    This is the criminal law list serve. We answer criminal law questions only. If your friend has been falsely accused, he needs a good defense attorney to represent him and to investigate the charge fully. If your friend wants to sue the complaining witness, he should speak to a civil lawyer. The amount of the damages would be set by a civil jury and cannot be predicted.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Unless you were an eye witness, or have been with your friend 24 hours a day since before the alleged incident and your friend has an iron clad alibi, anything you hear is simply hearsay. I would not take this matter lightly. You need an attorney. A rape conviction carries with it prison time. If the case gets dismissed, can you sue?? Generally not.. Because the rape victim is not bringing the case, rather it is the prosecutor, who is bringing the charge because of a violation of a criminal statute. GET AN ATTORNEY!!!!
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Burdon and Merlitti
    Burdon and Merlitti | Adam Van Ho
    First, your friend should talk to an attorney. The first step will be defeating the case either before charging or at trial. After that, yes, your friend could civilly sue his accuser, but as a general rule, the police and/or prosecutors would have immunity from the civil suit (there are limited exceptions to that rule). But the first thing your friend needs to do is tackle the criminal charges.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    A person can sue for false arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution if the charges can be proven to be baseless or were manufactured by some party. You can recover whatever the jury may award you and that you may be able to collect from the offending party. (Are you suing a party that can afford to pay anything?) It is my experience that anytime a man can have a sexual related crime dismissed, he becomes the happiest man in the world at that particular time.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Your friend has been accused of rape, and you are worrying about can he sue IF the charges are dismissed. I assume that you do not believe that there are any innocent people in jail. IF he is innocent and gets convicted of rape, he will be sentenced to at the very least life in prison, which means it will be thirty years before he is eligible for parole.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Rape is an extremely serious felony. My advice is, get the rape behind him first. Now is not the right time to think about anything else but beating the charge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | Melissa Hoffman
    To sue for slander, you will need to prove the alleged victim made statements she knew was false. If the only evidence he will be relying on to question the her truthfulness are his own statements that she's lying, he will not be able to prevail in a civil suit. However, if he has witnesses or other documents that indicate she intentionally lied, it may be worth going forward. He can sue for actual damages for the emotional distress, if he can prove physical symptoms manifested as a result of it. For a cause of action like slander, he can also receive and award for special damages. Right now, your friend needs to focus on fighting the criminal case but he should consult a lawyer about the possibility of proceeding on a civil matter.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Not likely. If the prosecutor believes there is a case and it goes further, a suit, even upon a not guilty verdict, would be difficult.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Keyser Law Firm
    Keyser Law Firm | Christopher W. Keyser
    If your friend is charged with rape - or criminal sexual conduct - I can almost guarantee the charges will not be dropped. Not hiring an attorney is an extremely bad choice to make in these situations. I recommend making some calls immediately.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/4/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    First, he should consult with experienced counsel before speaking with law enforcement. WIt proper preparation, it is possible to reduce the risk of charges being filed. Second, he may sue for defamation, but, unless the person making the allegation is wealthy, chances of recovery are minimal.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/4/2011
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