If you are facing a criminal conviction that resulted in the victim suffering damages, we suggest contacting a criminal defense attorney San Francisco, California residents trust from The Morales Law Firm as soon as possible. You may have to deal with both a personal injury lawsuit and criminal trial. This can feel like an added consequence when you are already facing the repercussions of a criminal conviction. It’s important to obtain legal counsel from a qualified attorney to help you navigate between these two legal entanglements because there is a significant difference between criminal and civil court.
The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Cases
Following a criminal charge, the victim may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against you. It’s important to understand that there is a significant difference between these two types of cases because they take place in two very different ways.
Criminal cases are brought forth when the state or municipal prosecutor decides to press charges against the accused. Although the victim may play an active role during the process, they are not responsible for the charges.
In civil cases, such as personal injury lawsuits, the victim is the person who brings forth the claim. In order for a victim to bring forth a civil case against the defendant, there does not need to be a criminal conviction. In some cases, there may not even be a criminal charge at play.
Defense Strategies for Criminal Cases
Depending on the circumstances related to the crime, there are several defense strategies that we may implement when building your case. As we may discuss with you, there are two approaches to take. The first, is you did not commit the crime. The second would be that you did commit the crime, however, should not be held accountible for your actions. If we choose the latter, then it will be important to emphasize your good character, lack of criminal background, explain why you shouldn’t be held accountable, listing other factors that contributed to the incident, and more.
Here we have listed the various defense strategies commonly used in criminal defense cases:
Lack of Proof
Remember that you are technically innocent until proven guilty, regardless of what is said by others. The burden of proof rests with the prosecution, meaning they have to show why you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. As your defense attorney, we do not have to necessarily prove that you were innocent, as the key is establishing a reasonable doubt that you did not partake in the crime. The prosecution will have to share evidence they are using against you, and then we will work to discount it.
If you were in a physical altercation because you were seriously worried for your safety, then you may have grounds for a self-defense strategy. Sometimes, law enforcement arrives at the scene of a physical altercation and only witnesses a brief moment that looks like you are the one to blame. To fight these charges, your lawyer will have to show why you acted with self-defense, and what the other party was doing to cause fear of imminent danger to you.
An alibi is proof that you were not present at the location and time that the supposed crime occurred. For instance, if the crime was committed on Lombard street in San Francisco at 10pm in front of a bar, and you have a receipt of a gas station purchase 40 minutes away in Oakland at that same time, then it is not possible that you were involved in the crime.
Using consent as a defense strategy may be appropriate based on the details of the incident, but it may not be the path to an acquittal. We can let you know whether the consent strategy can work in your favor after a consultation.
Under the Influence
If you were arrested for driving while under the influence, using this defense strategy won’t be helpful. But, if you committed another kind of crime while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and can prove you were not in your right state of mind because of it, you may face charges of a lesser severity or a shortened sentence.
Unfortunately, sometimes law enforcement are so desperate to make an arrest that they coerce or induce a person into committing a crime. For instance, if an officer approaches you on the street and forces you into buying drugs from them, then you may not receive a conviction on account of entrapment.
You may hear in news and in television shows about someone claiming insanity as their defense strategy. It isn’t actually used as often as you may imagine, and should only be utilized seriously and truthfully for a case, otherwise it may not result in the outcome you hope for. For those who are medically insane, evidence from a healthcare professional will be required to prove to the judge that the crime was driven by mental instability. You may also have to enter a rehabilitation program.
Criminal Cases that Result in Personal Injury
Sometimes, personal injury cases stem from a person engaging in illegal, criminal activity. As a result, a person convicted of a crime may also find himself or herself contending with a personal injury lawsuit as well. When the accused participated in illegal activity that resulted in bringing harm or even death to another person, they might be held liable. Examples of criminal cases that a CA criminal defense attorney in San Francisco may have represented in the past include:
- Vehicular Manslaughter
- Sexual Assault
- Assault and Battery
Essentially, if a person’s negligence results in the injury or death of another person, a personal injury claim or lawsuit may be a viable option. It’s important to note that the claimant will have to prove that:
- There was a duty of care
- There was a breach in the duty of care
- The claimant was harmed as a result
- The claimant incurred damages from the accident
Personal injury and criminal cases are two separate cases. However, when a criminal conviction is present, it may be easier to prove a personal injury.
When You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have already endured the criminal courts for charges brought against you by the state, you may also be forced to face a civil trial as well. The victim’s attorney will be fighting for maximum compensation for their client. You will want to ensure that you are legally protected by an attorney who understands aspects of criminal defense in addition to civil matters such as personal injury lawsuits.
Facing criminal charges can be especially stressful when also facing a possible personal injury lawsuit it can only add to the burden. For more information regarding how a San Francisco criminal defense attorney in CA from the Morales Law Firm can be invaluable to the charges you are faced with, contact us now for immediate support.
“Christopher Morales is a highly , expert criminal defense attorney. He treats us with dignity and respect, understand and make informed decisions about our son case. I am highly – recommend Christopher to people.”