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Some criminal acts can lead to more than one type of court case

| Dec 28, 2017 | Blog |

People who are facing criminal cases sometimes have nothing else to focus on, legally, except the criminal case. Other people also have to deal with a civil case against them. The circumstances of the incident determine which types of cases are filed against an individual.

Typically, a criminal action will only have a civil case if there is an injury or something that caused monetary damages to the invididual. There are a few things that a person who is facing criminal charges and civil charges for the same action need to know.

2 cases aren’t illegal

Some people mistakenly believe that if you are facing a civil case, you can’t face a criminal case or the other way around. This isn’t true. It is possible to face these two types of cases for the same event. The Constitution prevents you from double jeopardy, which means that you cannot be charged again after being found not guilty that same incident.

Each case is a different process

The reason you can face both charges is that civil cases and criminal cases aren’t dependent upon each other. You can be convicted of a criminal charge but not be found liable in a criminal case. Conversely, you can be found liable in a civil case, but found not guilty in a criminal case. The outcome of one case doesn’t have an impact on the outcome of the other.

An example

O.J. Simpson faced criminal charges for the death of Ron Goldman and the death of Nicole Brown Simpson. He wasn’t convicted on those criminal charges. He also faced a civil trail in connection with the incident that led to those two deaths. He lost that civil case and was ordered to pay the complainants. The judgement still hasn’t been paid off. Simpson has been released from prison, but still has to deal with the outcome of the civil case.

Preparing your cases

Often, you can use similar methods for answering criminal and civil complaints against you. There are some subtle differences that you need to know about when you are getting them together. One is that the criminal case against you must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The civil case only needs to be decided by a preponderance of the evidence. This is one reason why the outcome can be so different when you are dealing with the same incident in both cases.


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