Thu 04 Apr, 2024 Litigation

How Much Can You Sue for False Accusations?

If you are the victim of false accusations, you probably want to sue for as much as you can. After all, false accusations can be devasting to your personal relationships and career.

This article discusses the typical legal claims you can bring in court when you sue for false accusations.

If you suffered from false accusations in New York City, contact Cody Warner, P.C. for a free consultation. We routinely sue on behalf of our clients who were falsely accused of crimes. We can analyze your situation to determine how much you can sue for the false accusations.

Common Legal Claims for False Accusations

If false accusations were made against you, you may have an assortment of legal claims.

An important first question to ask is whether the false accusations were made by a civilian or by law enforcement. If a civilian makes false accusations, you can sue them under state law. When law enforcement makes false accusations, you may be able to also sue them for violating your constitutional rights under federal law.

Some of the most common claims you can bring related to false accusations include:

Malicious Prosecution

If a person (civilian or police officer) instigates the district attorney to file charges against you when they know that the charges are not supported by probable cause, they may have committed malicious prosecution.

False Arrest

If a police officer falsely accuses you of committing a crime and arrests you, the officer can be liable for your false arrest. If the police injured you during your arrest, you may have an additional police brutality claim.


At a basic level, defamation occurs when someone publishes false information about you and you suffer as a result. Defamation law is complex, so if you have a claim, you should contact an experienced litigator to determine whether you may have viable claims.

Types of Damages for False Accusations

The amount you can sue for false accusations depends on how much the wrongdoing affected you. The legal term for this concept is called “damages.” If your case goes to trial, a jury will determine how much it thinks you are owed because of the wrongdoing. Typical types of damages include:

Loss of Liberty

If you were incarcerated because of false allegations, you are entitled to compensation for your loss of liberty. That includes both time behind bars and time going to court to fight false criminal charges. Generally speaking, you can expect around $1000 per hour of unlawful incarceration. If you accept a settlement offer, that figure is typically reduced to a degree.

Emotional Trauma

You can be compensated for your embarrassment and emotional trauma due to the false accusations. Sometimes the emotional trauma can be significant. Your relationships with family and friends can be damaged, sometimes forever. The wrongdoer should compensate you for this suffering.

Economic Loss

If you were fired from your job or your reputation in your professional community was damaged, you may be entitled to receive compensation for lost income and lost future earnings.

Need Help?

If you are the victim of false accusations in New York City, contact Cody Warner, P.C. for a free consultation. We can assess your situation to determine your best path forward.