Seeking justice in a court of law is never easy. Even if you can prove that someone committed sex crimes against you, that’s only a part of your claim. You still need to file a lawsuit against them to recover financially for your suffering.
Luckily, your lawyer at Lane & Lane, LLC can help you use evidence from their criminal case. Here’s how their criminal trial can help you, even if they’re not convicted.
The United States has two separate court systems, one for criminal matters and one for civil law. Civil court is used to prosecute acts of negligence. Criminal courts are for cases that are punishable by prison or paying a fine. They involve breaking the law in both violent and non-violent situations.
But with a civil case, victims pursue legal damages to compensate them financially. Most sex abuse cases or negligence claims are pursued in civil court. That means your civil claim won’t put the abuser behind bars, but a criminal case won’t award you the financial coverage you’re due after you’re assaulted.
Criminal convictions have a higher burden of proof because they involve proving intent and often require other evidence besides just a police report or the testimony of one person. That means a sex abuser with a criminal conviction had multiple witnesses testify and piles of evidence against them when they were convicted of other crimes or violence before.
If your abuser is tried for the abuse they committed, the evidence used there can help support your civil case. That’s because you don’t have to prove they committed a crime. You only have to prove they injured you, and that their actions left you suffering certain damages.
It’s tough for a defense attorney to negotiate a favorable plea bargain or argue for leniency for anyone that has a criminal conviction. Repeat offenders may face harsher penalties and fewer options to avoid those penalties.
In many cases, criminal defendants can avoid trial by pleading guilty or no contest. However, if the accused person has a criminal background or are facing serious charges like murder or rape, prosecutors are usually less likely to offer them any deal at all.
If a sex abuser was convicted of violence punishable by jail or prison time, including sexual assault or murder, they could face life in prison if charged with another crime. If they are convicted again and the judge decides that their new offense is of a similar nature, then that judge may well impose a harsher sentence than they would have otherwise.
When someone is arrested for sexual abuse, the first step is to complete the criminal case. Even if your civil lawsuit is underway, you may have to postpone the proceedings until a verdict is reached. Once that verdict is reached, the results can impact your lawsuit.
Because a civil lawsuit requires less evidence than a criminal case, evidence used in the criminal case may be vital in proving you’re due damages. That evidence may include witness testimony, security footage, physical evidence from medical exams, and other sources.
If they’ve been convicted of a criminal case, getting damages may be simpler. It’s already been proven they sexually assaulted you if they’re convicted, so your key step is proving you suffered and are due damages.
These damages may be economic or non-economic, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, hospital bills, costs for therapy or rehabilitation, and more. Talk to your lawyer about using evidence from the criminal case to get the funds you’re due.
In some cases, your abuser may try to fight back, claiming that your case was a wrongful conviction. If they claim this, you may be worried that you’ll be unable to put up a defense for your claim, losing the funds you need to recover.
If they try to prove they’re dealing with a wrongful conviction, you and your lawyer may have to seek further evidence that they assaulted you. Police reports and other evidence can help you prove their wrongful actions, building a strong defense if the at-fault party tries to claim they didn’t harm you.
Coming forward about sexual abuse can be difficult, and you may want the whole situation to be over. Stepping up can help you recover and get closure, but you may be unsure whether you have options once a criminal trial is underway.
Call the skilled attorneys of Lane & Lane, LLC at 312-332-1400 or chat with a member of our team online. With the proper guidance, you can use your abuser’s criminal conviction to get the answers you need and make your lawsuit a success.