If you find yourself facing legal troubles you might assume that you can breathe a sigh of relief if the plaintiff decides to drop their suit against you. While putting the civil case behind you is an important step to moving on from the event, it is not the only legal proceeding you may be subjected to. In some circumstances, the prosecutor assigned to your case may decide to pursue criminal charges against you despite the fact that the civil suit has been dropped.
If the alleged victim dropped their civil suit but there are still criminal charges against you, the criminal defense attorneys at Deputy & Mizell can help! Our Lake of the Ozarks criminal defense lawyers are dedicated to protecting your rights and defending you against the criminal charges brought on by the state.
Contact us today to schedule your no-cost case evaluation!
What is the difference between a civil suit and a criminal case?
It’s important to understand that civil cases (lawsuits) and criminal cases are not the same proceedings, and the result of one does not inherently impact the other. In a civil case, a person you allegedly harmed in some way (the plaintiff) is seeking restitution from you (the defendant), almost always in the form of money.
In a criminal case the prosecutor, who typically represents the state you reside in, attempts to prove that your actions pose a tangible threat to others — financial, physical, or otherwise — necessitating more serious punishment. In these cases, the individual who would be the plaintiff in the civil case against you would be the alleged victim of your crimes.
Why am I still subject to criminal charges if the civil case against me was dropped?
It is relatively common for a prosecutor to pursue a criminal case against an individual even after the civil case against them has been dropped. This is usually seen in cases where the plaintiff of the civil suit and the defendant have some type of relationship and there is an opportunity to settle their dispute out of court. The most common examples being assault and domestic violence cases. So why is it that even though your significant other, family member, or friend has moved on that you may still face criminal charges?
If the prosecutor feels that there is sufficient evidence to prove that you had intent to commit bodily harm, damage to property, or other significant offenses they may decide that civil proceedings are arbitrary to their criminal investigation. That is to say, they feel that your actions merit a potential prison sentence or hefty fine even if the plaintiff in your case does not. The prosecutor may even feel that the plaintiff in your civil case showed bad judgment in dropping their case against you, typically because of an ongoing relationship with you. Regardless, if the prosecutor feels that your actions merit criminal charges and that sufficient evidence exists to illustrate your guilt, they will more than likely prolong your legal troubles.
What can I do about criminal charges after a dropped civil suit?
You need the support of a proven defense attorney throughout the entire legal process, regardless of the outcome of civil suits against you. An expert defense attorney will know when the possibility of criminal charges remains after civil litigation and what steps to take to best defend you in the matter.
Lake of the Ozarks Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you are in legal trouble and are unsure of how to handle the criminal charges brought against you, do not deal with this alone! Our experienced criminal defense lawyers can discuss the possible options you have, build a strong defense strategy, and protect your rights. Contact Deputy & Mizell for a free consultation today!