Criminal Case and Civil Liability
Seattle WA Attorney
In 1989, Roger moved to Seattle with his family joining the litigation team at Riddell Williams. In 1991 Roger began practicing as a King County prosecutor. For the next 24 years, he led Washington State in investigating, charging and convicting the region’s most despicable criminals, trying more than 100 significant cases including aggravated murder, organized crime, and financial fraud.
There is a fundamental distinction between civil liability and criminal case in the U.S. legal system. However, a criminal case may potentially be tried as a civil case.
Roger Davidheiser has extensive experience and expertise in both fields of law, first as a criminal case prosecutor going after the most dangerous criminals in Washington State and more recently as a tort attorney seeking compensation for his clients in civil court.
- Criminal Lawyer Seattle WA
- Civil Attorney Seattle WA
- Tort Lawer in Washington State
Criminal law embodies those laws that seek to punish someone for criminal offenses, such as assault, murder, robbery, trafficking in controlled substances, etc. Unlike civil law, criminal charges are brought by the state and cases are tried by government prosecutors.
While victims are given the choice to press charges, prosecuting attorneys are still able to pursue a case at their own discretion. As we all know, criminal prosecution can lead to jail time. That is why the burden of proof is higher in criminal cases than they are in civil cases. A defendant is presumed innocent until a jury is convinced “beyond a reasonable doubt” of their guilt. The jury also has to unanimously agree on this point before the defendant can be convicted.
The central purpose of a civil case is to compel the defendant and/or third parties to pay compensation or restitution to the victim. A civil case is filed by a private party, rather than the government.
The wrongdoer does not face the possibility of jail time and the case against them isn’t framed by guilt or innocence. Since there is no threat of incarceration, the burden of proof in a civil case is not as high as in criminal cases.
The lower level of proof needed means that it’s not about proving guilt or innocence, but whether or not the defendant is liable. In legal terms, this means they are found liable by the “preponderance of the evidence.”
While civil cases are most often thought of as a way to seek monetary compensation, it may also be about compelling the defendant to meet contractual obligations or to stop an action that infringes upon the plaintiff’s rights or business interests. Mr Davidheiser is an experienced Criminal attorney in Seattle Wa.
A Former Client:
- June 24, 2016, Las Vegas, NV
Roger Davidheiser obtained a $2 million award from a Clark County Nevada jury on behalf of a woman run over in a road rage incident in a Target parking lot in Las Vegas. Jean Kohl suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), spine and ankle injuries when she was run over by a pickup truck owned by a local business, Dakem and Associates, driven by its employee, Edward Reed. At trial the defense argued that Mr. Reed was justified and acting in self-defense, and that Ms. Kohl and her boyfriend were at fault and caused Ms. Kohl’s injuries because they decided to get out of their car and continue the confrontation. The jury rejected these arguments and found Mr. Reed at fault, the cause of Ms. Kohl’s injuries, and responsible for her damages. The jury found Dakem liable for the conduct of its employee, Mr. Reed. The jury awarded $522,086 in past and future medical costs and $1.5 million in past and future pain and suffering. Additionally, the jury found that punitive damages were warranted. Just before the start of the punitive damages phase of the trial, the case settled for a confidential amount.
Are You a Crime Victim Who Needs Representation in a Civil Lawsuit?
Sometimes criminal cases can be later tried as a civil lawsuit, regardless of the outcome of the first trial. Maybe you have dealt with the burden and expense of medical treatment, physical rehabilitation, psychological counseling and lost wages as a result of the accused. If so, you may have legal recourse.
All too often, victims of crime are not aware that no matter what the outcome was of their criminal trial, they have the right to take civil action. If you believe that you have the right to seek compensation, whether it’s related to a criminal case or not, contact the law offices of Roger Davidheiser for a free consultation.