Sexual Misconduct: Criminal Prosecution vs. Civil Lawsuit

Perpetrators of sexual misconduct of various degrees can face serious charges if convicted. A few different consequences of a crime of sexual misconduct include:

  • Must register as a sex offender for the rest of their life.
  • Costly expenses from  court and heavy fines.
  • Lengthy prison sentence
  • Under parole supervision for the rest of their life
  • Job Loss

Your first concern when facing a charge of sexual misconduct, regardless of the degree, should be to contact a lawyer specializing in such cases.

Civil Cases vs. Criminal Prosecution

Although criminal penalties are sufficiently high, sometimes a victim will try to make up for it.  An experienced lawyer will know that it is not always enough for a victim that an assailant is found guilty of sexual misconduct. It is even further unacceptable for the assailant to be found innocent or have their charges dismissed–if they ever get to court, that is. It is important to know the difference between a criminal and civil lawsuit so you may chart your course of defense.

Civil Lawsuits

An accuser will file a lawsuit against an accused party about a matter of sexual misconduct. The lawsuit indicates that the plaintiff alleges that they were the victim of the defendant.

A plaintiff will make specific allegations detailing the damages and injuries inflicted on the victim by the defendant. A plaintiff might claim damages and injuries such as:

  • physical injuries as a result of an assault
  • medical expenses to treat injuries sustained
  • lost wages
  • emotional distress and possibly cost of therapy

Criminal Prosecution

In a criminal case, the plaintiff is the state that brings the case, not the accuser, often termed as “victim” even before the results of the case are declared. If the case ends with a conviction, a defendant might have to compensate for damages etc. However, the amount is usually less than what could be asked for or awarded in a civil lawsuit.

Standard of Proof

The standard of proof is what is required to convict a person: the well -known “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” The conviction should be supported if no other reasonable conclusion can be drawn to explain the crime. The prosecution is liable to prove guilt, or the state that brings the case. A criminal case holds a higher standard of proof than a civil case. The standard of proof in a civil case is an abundance of evidence. The plaintiff is responsible for the burden of proof and they are required to present that the facts they bring to court about the case are most likely true. Unsurprisingly, this makes a civil lawsuit much easier to handle when proving liability. Consult with an experienced Criminal Defense lawyer such as the Criminal Lawyer Peoria IL locals trust.

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