The Overlap Between Criminal and Civil Law

When someone is sued, it falls under civil law. When someone is arrested, it falls under criminal law. These two types of law are very different, as is the outcome for every case. However, those who are arrested and charged with a crime can also be sued under civil law in some circumstances. Those who are arrested should understand the overlap and what could happen if they are arrested and sued.

When Can Someone be Sued

Anyone who has damages can sue the person who is liable for those damages. If the accused steals something, they could be sued by the person or business they allegedly stole the items from. In the civil lawsuit, the damages are the loss of money based on the value of the items stolen. The civil suit can be brought to ensure the alleged victim is made whole again, as long as they can prove that the alleged criminal was the one who stole the items.

Civil and Criminal Cases for the Same Crime

Someone who is accused of a crime like theft could face civil and criminal charges for the theft. In the civil case, they risk losing money to cover the value of the items that were stolen. The alleged victim would need to prove through a preponderance of the evidence that the alleged criminal is the one who stole the items. In the criminal case, the state handles the prosecution and must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged criminal is guilty of theft.

How the Criminal Case Impacts the Civil Case

The outcome of a civil case doesn’t a criminal case. However, a guilty verdict from the criminal case can be used as evidence in a civil case. Since more evidence is needed to prove a criminal case than a civil case, a guilty verdict provides sufficient evidence in most cases for the alleged victim to win the civil case.

If you’ve been arrested, make sure you have a lawyer who can help you defend against these charges. Though they might not be able to handle the civil case against you, they can help you avoid a conviction which may make it more difficult for the other person to win the civil case. Visit to learn more or to find a lawyer today.

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