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Evaluating Grounds for Malicious Prosecution

This legal question related to sex offense attorneys in Delaware has been answered.

Location: Delaware  |  Law type: sex offense attorneys

I'm writing on behalf of Dustin Ray Moore who was recently released from incarceration. Upon his arrest, I believe the authorities took unfair advantage of his youth (18 years old), his naivete about legal matters, and his lack of access to robust legal representation.  As he related to me the facts leading up to his court appearance, plea bargain and conviction, I became shocked by the conduct of the New Castle County, Delaware police, the prosecutor, and his public defender. Dustin voluntarily agreed to a police interview. After waiving his right to counsel, the police grilled him for hours attempting to force a confession of rape. The accuser, a 21-year-old woman Heather, along with her daughters, shared a home with Dustin, his mother Jill, and family. The amorous young couple, both under the influence of illicit drugs and alcohol, had had a late-night rendezvous. Seeking to deceive her then-boyfriend about the affair, Heather concocted the story of rape to explain away her encounter with Dustin. Shortly after Dustin's arrest, Heather tearfully recanted her assertion of rape to Jill. However, the prosecuting attorney told her it was too late to recant. Please comment on the advisabily of retaining an attorney to investigate the circumstances surrounding this case. Thank you.

Commonly posted questions...

8 months 4 weeks ago, sex offense attorneys, Las Vegas

Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to sex offense attorneys in the jurisdiction of Delaware. If the response is inadequate, please submit a detailed inquiry.

Evaluating Grounds for Malicious Prosecution in Dustin's Case

Given the situation described regarding Dustin Ray Moore's arrest, plea bargain, and conviction in New Castle County, Delaware, there are serious concerns related to the conduct of all parties involved. These concerns revolve around potential police coercion, misconduct by the prosecuting attorney, and potential ineffective assistance by the public defender.

Relevant Delaware Legal Codes

  • Delaware Code Title 11. Crimes and Criminal Procedure: This section contains the bulk of criminal laws, including rape and other sexual offenses, in Delaware. This will provide context on the specific charges Dustin faced.
  • Delaware Rules of Professional Conduct: Specifically addressing attorneys, this section can provide insight into any professional misconduct.
  • Delaware's Victim's Bill of Rights: This could provide guidance on Heather's rights as an alleged victim.

Delaware's Official State Government Website might have further details on these specific codes.

Potential Solutions to Address the Situation

To address the potential misconduct in this case:

  1. Immediate Legal Consultation: Considering the severity of the matter, Dustin should immediately retain an experienced sex offense lawyer to review the case.
  2. Appeal or Post-Conviction Relief: Depending on the specifics of Dustin's plea deal and the circumstances of his conviction, an appeal might be possible. If not, other post-conviction remedies might be explored.
  3. Civil Litigation: If it is determined that Dustin's rights were violated, civil litigation against the involved parties for malicious prosecution or violation of civil rights might be an option.

Average Legal Fees in Delaware

Legal Service Average Cost in Delaware
Consultation with a Sex Offense Attorney $250 - $500 per hour
Filing an Appeal $5,000 - $20,000 total
Civil Litigation (Malicious Prosecution) $10,000 - $50,000 total
Legal Document Review $200 - $600 per document

Note: The costs above are approximate and may vary based on the attorney's experience, case complexity, and other factors. Some attorneys might offer contingency fees, particularly in civil cases where the plaintiff seeks monetary compensation.

Clarification and Call to Action

Dustin's situation seems complicated, and a clear understanding of all legal aspects involved is paramount. It would be advisable to compare lawyers in your area to ensure you find the right representation.

Relevant Questions

  • Did Heather give a formal statement to the police about her recantation? Understanding the formality of her recantation is vital, as informal recantations might not hold as much weight in court.

  • What was the exact plea bargain agreed upon? This will shed light on the possibility of an appeal or other post-conviction remedies.

  • Were there any witnesses or evidence presented during the investigation or trial? Eyewitness testimonies or any tangible evidence can significantly impact a case.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I determine if my lawyer provided ineffective assistance?

In general, you would need to show that the lawyer's performance was below the standard expected of a competent attorney and that this incompetence adversely affected the outcome.

Can a person be retried if the victim recants their testimony?

Not always. It depends on the specifics of the case and whether the recantation is credible. Other evidence also plays a role.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a malicious prosecution lawsuit in Delaware?

Typically, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, which malicious prosecution falls under, is two years in Delaware. However, consulting an attorney is essential to understand specifics.

Can the prosecutor be sued for misconduct?

Prosecutors have immunity for actions taken within their role. However, this doesn't cover actions outside of their official duties, and civil suits are possible in certain situations.

What is the process for filing an appeal in Delaware?

An appeal must be filed with the Delaware Supreme Court. A Notice of Appeal is filed first, followed by an Opening Brief. Deadlines and specific procedures are strict, making legal representation crucial.


This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

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Legal question "Evaluating Grounds for Malicious Prosecution" has been changed 9 months 2 weeks ago. Demonstrate your legal skills and willingness to help and answer right now! Issue is related to the location of Delaware & area of law: sex offense attorneys.
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