Category: Assault

Malicious Prosecution, Wrongful Arrest, and Infliction of Emotional Harm

It goes without saying that being arrested and prosecuted for something you didn’t do is a nightmare. In Georgia, if this happens to you, you have options for holding the responsible parties accountable. To win such a claim, it must be shown that (1) you were prosecuted for a criminal offense, (2) there was no probable cause for the prosecution, (3) the prosecution was instigated with malice, (4) the prosecution was under a valid warrant, (5) the charges were dismissed, and (6) you were damaged.

Whether you prosecuted for a crime under a valid warrant, whether the charges were dismissed, and whether you were damaged are straightforward factual issues. The more difficult issues to overcome are probable cause and malice.

Probable cause and malice exist when the information and facts provided to the police, which caused the charges to be brought, were lies or exaggerations. In other words, there is no probable cause when the complaining party knew the facts provided to the police were false or were not a fair, full, and complete statement of the facts.

A related claim is intentional infliction of emotional harm. This requires that the defendant’s conduct be (1) intentional or reckless, (2) extreme and outrageous, (3) the emotional distress was caused by the wrongful conduct, and (4) the emotional distress was severe. Like malicious prosecution, the key is whether the complaining party’s dishonesty  caused the charges to be brought against you. If so, a jury determines whether the conduct was outrageous enough to support a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

If you’ve be wrongly arrested, please call us to discuss how we can help you hold the responsible parties accountable.

Rape and Assault Cases in Georgia

In 2011, U.S. residents age 12 or older experienced an estimated 5.8 million violent victimizations, according to a report released by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. These estimates are based on data from the annual National Crime Victimization Survey, which has collected information from victims of crime since 1973. Between 2010 and 2011, the rate of violent victimization increased 17 percent, from 19.3 to 22.5 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older. The increase in total violence was due to a 22 percent increase in the number of aggravated and simple assaults.

Many of these crimes are the result of inadequate security provided by a landlord or provided by a commercial establishment like a hotel. In these situations, the crime should never have happened and, in Georgia, a victim is entitled to make a claim for injuries.

To establish liability in Georgia for inadequate security, an injured party must show that the defendant has breached a duty “to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.”

With regard to third-party criminal attacks, such duty extends only to foreseeable criminal acts. In Sturbridge Partners v. Walker, 267 Ga. 785 (1997), the Supreme Court of Georgia “laid to rest the artificial notion that a crime against a person could never be foreseen by previous crimes against property” and, instead, endorsed more flexible guidelines for determining foreseeability.

To determine whether previous criminal acts are substantially similar to the occurrence causing harm, thereby establishing the foreseeability of risk, the court must inquire into the location, nature, and extent of the prior criminal activities and their likeness, proximity or other relationship to the crime in question. While the prior criminal activity must be substantially similar to the particular crime in question, that does not mean identical. What is required is that the prior incident be sufficient to attract the [defendant’s] attention to the dangerous condition which resulted in the litigated incident. Further, the question of reasonable foreseeability of a criminal attack is generally for a jury’s determination.

For example, does knowledge of two previous burglaries by a landlord create the foreseeability of a rape and aggravated sodomy that occurred in one of its apartments? Sturbridge concluded that the previous burglaries did create foreseeability because, although the burglaries “were committed when the apartments were vacant, it was reasonable to anticipate that an unauthorized entry might occur while an apartment was occupied and personal harm to a tenant could result.”

In rape and assault cases in Atlanta and all of Georgia, it is critical to obtain records from all prior crimes that occurred at the location where the crime took place. At Gomez & Golomb LLC, we have been handling these types of cases for almost 20 years. Please call us for a free consultation if you have been the victim of a rape or an assault.

If you are the victim of a crime, here are some links to organizations that will help you free of cost. This is not something you want to go through alone – so please call !!!

http://www.safehorizon.org/index.php

http://www.summitadvocates.org/

http://www.callforhelpinc.org/

http://www.victimsofcrime.org/home