One of the basic precepts of the criminal justice system is that above all, let the process be fair. Unfortunately for hundreds, if not thousands of Bronx residents, the system was anything but fair. The Bronx County District Attorney's office is prosecuting a former Bronx Detective Joseph Franco, of the New York City Police Department for perjury. Franco was indicted in April 2019, after it was discovered that he had lied about witnessing drug transactions that never happened, which lead to the prosecution of innocent people. Now numerous convictions have been vacated, as the testimony Franco provided has been discovered to be perjurious. So far, the New York Courts have vacated 257 convictions based upon this detectives perjury and ultimately, prosecutores estimate that five hundred convictions or more may need to be vacated. 

Our New York City police misconduct lawyers know that a person who is wrongfully convicted and imprisoned, undergoes a trauma that money can never fix and these victims of police misconduct often end up leading broken lives, forever haunted by the injustice they suffered. One of the first question, every exoneree asks is can I sue for having been wrongfully incarcerated based upon lies. Our New York City malicious prosecution attorneys have decaded of experience in representing victims of police misconduct, including people who were wrongfully convicted and incarcerated for crimes that they did not commit. 

If you were convicted based upon the false testimony of Detective Franco, the first step is to bring a motion pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law 440 to vacate the conviction. If your conviction has been vacted there are a number of remedies available, to get you an award of damages for what happened to you. The first is a claim in the Court of Claims for wrongful conviction. To preserve a wrongful conviction claim, you must file a notice of intent to file a claim and serve it on the New York State Attorney General's office within 90 days of the conviction being vacated. Under the New York Court of Claims Act, seciton 8, you are entitled to damages for time you spent in prison if you are actually innocent, were convicted following a trial and your conviction has been vacated. 

If you were wrongfully convicted because a police officer lied, fabricated evidence or withheld exculpatory evidence, our New York City malicious prosecution lawyers know that you can file a lawsuit for monetary compensation, under 42 USC 1983, a section that allows victims whose civil rights were abused to sue public officials, including police officers and detectives. Under 42 USC 1983, people who have been wrongfully convicted can sue for malicious prosecution and due process violations including fabrication of evidence.


Our New York civil rights lawyers bring wrongful conviction claims know that to prove a malicious prosecution case, you have to prove that an officer initiated or continued a prosecution, without probable to believe that the prosecution could be successful, with malice and that the proceeding was ultimately determined in your favor.  Even where a person was convicted, where the conviction is ultimately vacated or reversed on appeal, that is suffficient to demonstrate a favorable termination, especially in the case of Franco's victims, where the conviction was vacated because it was secured by fraud and perjury. As for initiation, our NYC wrongful conviction lawyers know that any officer who signs a felony complaint, initiates a prosecution. New York Courts, both at the State and Federal level have recognized a lack of probable cause where officers lie to manufacture probable cause for a crime that never happened or to wrongfully implicate someone who was not involved in the crime. If you believe you have a malicious prosecution case, call our New York City malicious prosecution lawyers for a free consultation. 


The United States Constitution provides a constitutional right to the Due Process of Law, and 42 USC 1983 allows people who were injured and suffered a loss of liberty because they were denied the Due Process of Laws to sue those responsible. Courts have recognized Due Process Clause violations, where police officers fabricate evidence which falsely implicates someone in criminal activity or where police officers suppress evidence that has a tendency to show that the accused did not commit the crime.  There are several important differences between a malicious prosecution claim and a Due Process Violation claim. First, while the existence of probable cause is a defense to a malicious prosecution claim, and the Plaintiff has to prove a lack of probable cause, that is not the case with a Due Process violation, because the Courts have recognized that probable cause is never an excuse to fabricate evidence or withhold evidence that tends to undermine the State's case. 


While every case is different, in general a person who was wrongfully convicted can sue for damages for the amount of time they were wrongfully imprisoned, as well as for lost income and lost opportunities, as well as for the emtional distress they suffered as a result of being incarcerated. For a person that was wrongfully incarcerated for several years, these damages can be significant. 

For a free consultation on whether you can sue for a wrongful conviction and how much you sue for, call our NYC wrongful conviction lawyers. 

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The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC

The Law Office of Michael H. Joseph, PLLC, has been helping injured victims recover compensation for their injuries for over a decade. Our attorneys are members of several prestigious organizations, including: 

  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • New York County Bar Association
  • Westchester County Bar Association

To request your free initial consultation with our team, call our New York City office at (212) 858-0503 or our White Plains office at (914) 574-8330. You can also request a case review online.

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