Crimes are handled in the criminal court system, where the accused is found guilty or not guilty. However, these cases can also be held in civil court and the victim can work with a Civil Law Lawyer in Mount Vernon WA to try to obtain compensation for their injuries that resulted from the crime, even if the person is found not guilty in criminal court. These are separate cases and do have significant differences.
The Determination of Guilt
There is a difference in how much proof is needed of a person’s guilt.
• In criminal cases, the evidence needs to prove the person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the jury needs to be very sure that the person is actually guilty and that the evidence shows that.
• In civil cases, there only needs to be a preponderance of the evidence. This means that it needs to be reasonable to assume that the person is guilty, even if the jury isn’t absolutely certain.
This difference means a person can be found innocent in criminal court, but guilty in civil court for the same crime with the same evidence.
The Outcome of the Case
There is a different outcome as well. This is because the two different cases are brought for two different reasons.
• In a criminal case, the outcome is to determine whether a person’s guilty and, if so, to determine the punishment for the person based on the crime that was committed.
• In a civil case, the outcome is to obtain compensation for the victim for any injuries sustained during the crime that was committed. For example, if the crime was assault, the person might receive compensation to cover their medical bills and lost wages.
A victim isn’t going to need to hire a lawyer for the criminal case as their side is handled by the prosecution who is working for the state. If they would like to try to receive compensation for their injuries, however, they will need to hire a Civil Law Lawyer in Mount Vernon WA to help them with the civil case. This doesn’t depend on the outcome of the criminal case and both cases can be in court at the same time though a guilty verdict can help them. For more information on obtaining compensation as a victim of a crime, contact Corbin T. Volluz today.