Civil Rights: Actions After Wrongful Incarceration

Civil Rights: Actions After Wrongful Incarceration

February 21, 2017 | Civil Rights

Those who are wrongfully arrested, convicted, or maliciously prosecuted are victims of errors of the justice system, and often suffer egregiously as such. In fact, the Innocence Project reports that on average, those who are proven to have been wrongfully convicted through post-conviction DNA testing spend more than 14 years incarcerated. There is no doubt that these victims deserve the right to be compensated from the state.

States that Have Compensation Statutes

Unfortunately, not all states in the U.S. have compensation statutes, although 32 states, as well as Washington D.C., do. Under states’ laws, those who have been wrongfully convicted of a felony crime and served time for the crime are eligible to receive compensation. However, the amount in compensation one can recover varies on a state-by-state basis, with some states capping the recoverable amount.

It should be noted that the federal government also has a compensation statute. Under federal law, a person who is exonerated of a crime may receive up to $50,000 for each year that they were wrongfully incarcerated; a person who was wrongfully sentenced to death may received $100,000 per year for each year they were on death row.

A person may also seek compensation for a false arrest or malicious prosecution when they have been wrongfully denied loss of liberty. Compensation may be sought for emotional pain and suffering associated with a false arrest/malicious prosecution. Our Civil Rights attorneys can guide you through the process.

Time Limits

Each state that has a compensation statute may set its own statute of limitations that governs the amount of time a wrongfully convicted person has to initiate an action for compensation. In 2007, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the statute of limitations begins at the point that a person’s detention becomes a legal process (i.e. when they appear before a judge/court).

Our Law Firm Is Here For You

If you are someone who was wrongfully convicted of a crime or wrongfully arrested and have since been exonerated, our team at the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.


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