How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask S. Huband, Esq. Your Own Question
S. Huband, Esq.
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1627
Experience:  Experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
70026054
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
S. Huband, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

If one is wrongfully accused as the accusers issue a false

This answer was rated:

If one is wrongfully accused as the accusers issue a false report to police, and the accused is blindsided not being told by police or anyone about the report for a decade or more.. What can be done? Clearly the reputation is destroyed and there is malice contempt and nothing but the worst of intentions behind the accusers actions. If its reported to police there are usually notes taken. Could this be a cause of action for libel or loss of reputation. Obviously I'm losing sleep over it.
Hello! If you find my response helpful, please rate it positively so that I can receive credit for my work. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.

Q) Could this be a cause of action for libel or loss of reputation. Obviously I'm losing sleep over it.

I would lose sleep over this sort of thing, too. The answer to your question is a qualified "yes." I will explain...

The first issue that worries me is that this false accusation was made against you a decade or more ago. You may have heard of the statute of limitations. This statute prevents a person from filing a lawsuit after a certain amount of time has gone by. The exact time depends on the state in which the wrongful accusation occurred, but for defamation, or making false statements against someone, which includes slander and libel, the time frame is generally a year or two. So, it is possible that the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against that person may have run out by now.

In your case, though, it sounds like you only recently discovered these accusations. Sometimes a statute of limitations is tolled, i.e. is put on hold, if the underlying injury (that someone defamed you, in your case) is not discovered or is not discoverable. So, if you only recently discovered the false statement, there is the possibility you could still sue, even if the statute of limitations would have run out years ago.

Finally, some states have another civil cause of action called "malicious prosecution." If intentionally false accusations were made against you AND you were arrested or prosecuted, you could have a claim under malicious prosecution, as well.

To determine what statutes of limitation apply, and which exact claims you could have, you should consult with a personal injury or civil rights attorney in your area right away to see if you have a valid claim under the law of your state. Many attorneys will speak with people for free, at least for an initial consultation, to determine whether or not the person has a potentially valid claim. If so, the attorney could represent you on a contingency basis. That means the attorney would not be paid a fee unless he or she recovers a judgment for you.

I hope this has been helpful to you. If so, please take a brief moment to rate my answer positively so that I can receive credit for my work. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee. Thank you and I wish you the best!

Shuband
S. Huband, Esq. and 7 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Hello,

I was notified that you rated the answer I gave positively, and I am very pleased and gratified that I was able to help you. I sincerely hope the matter(s) we discussed turn out well for you.

Please ask for me in the future if you have additional questions or concerns. Thank you very much for the opportunity to assist you.

Take care,
Shuband