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Sexual Assault and Criminal Lawsuits: 5 Important Things to Note

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Are you thinking of filing a lawsuit against sexual assault? Are you confused about whether to file a criminal lawsuit or a civil lawsuit? Well, Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyers will be able to guide you with all the necessary pieces of information.

But there are some crucial things that you also need to know before asking for assistance from a criminal lawyer.

5 Important Things to Note in Sexual Assault and Criminal Lawsuits

Here, in this article, I will guide you with some important things that you should know when you are thinking of filing a sexual assault lawsuit. You can also find a good criminal lawyer in Arizona who will guide you with all the necessary details.

Who Can Sue for Sexual Abuse Or Assault?

Any person who has been the victim of any kind of unwanted touching or any type of unwanted sexual act always has the leverage to sue for damages. Apart from that, the families of the victims are also eligible to sue, but there are some conditions.

  • They must have witnessed the assault. If this is the case, they also might have an action for the negligent infliction of any kind of emotional distress.
  • The victim is dead as a result of the assault and abuse. Then the family or heirs of the victim can bring a lawsuit for wrongful death. A survivor’s action on behalf of the specific victim’s estate will also do.
  • The assault resulted in a loss of moral support, companionship, intimacy to a spouse or registered domestic partner.

Is Filing Criminal Charge Needed – or Just Filing a Lawsuit?

A criminal charge is not needed for filing a lawsuit for sexual assault. The victim might not want to report any crime because he or she is afraid of how the victim is going to be treated, or the person will be blamed for whatever has happened.

In most cases, the police are super cooperative and active when it is about a sexual assault. In many cases, the police also investigate the matter and take necessary actions without a criminal charge so that the evidence can actually come out for the lawsuit.

What Is the Burden of Proof?

When it is a criminal trial, the prosecution has to prove the guilt, and that too “beyond a reasonable doubt.” in sexual assault cases, this particular can be challenging to do, especially where consent or lack of it becomes really tough to prove.

At the same time, in a civil lawsuit, establishing liability by the plaintiff by a preponderance of the evidence is needed. It means that the jury has to simply determine that it is “more likely than not” that the plaintiff is sexually abused or assaulted by the defendant.

Can Another Party Be Held Responsible?

Whenever we think of a sexual assault, we usually consider the terms of a perpetrator and a victim. But the scenario is a little different when the law comes into action. As per the law, anyone who has violated a duty of care can be held liable.

For example, in case the negligence of a party has caused the injury to another, the law will hold the party responsible as well for the crime. It means, in case a sexual assault has taken place because of the negligence of someone else, that party may also be liable.

What Are Defenses to Charges of Sexual Assault?

Here are the common charges of sexual assault. But these are not the only ones. So, apart from the following, there are also some other defenses as well. So, let’s have a look at the most common ones.

  • The defendant has not done it; the plaintiff is mistaken or lying.
  •  No sexual act has taken place.
  • The lawsuit has been filed lately., so it is barred by all the statute of limitations.
  • The encounter was consensual.

The Bottom Line

So, in case you are thinking of filing a lawsuit next time, you should consult with one of the best Arizona Criminal Defense Lawyers. Though most of the time, the sexual assault lawsuits are considered civil lawsuits if no charge is reported to the police.

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