Difference Between Civil and Criminal DUI Trials in Long Island

driving under the influenceWhen an intoxicated person gets behind the wheel of a car and hits another driver, he has both committed a crime and likely injured someone. The intoxicated driver will face criminal charges for driving under the influence, and may also face a lawsuit in civil court to compensate the injured victim or their family. While both DUI civil and criminal cases may share some of the same evidence, the burden of proof is very different and should therefore only be handled with the assistance of a Long Island drunk driving lawyer.

Criminal Cases

The purpose of a DUI criminal case is to punish the offender for his crime. The burden of proof is much higher in a DUI criminal case as the district attorney must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the driver operated his car while drunk.

An accident can affect the charges the state filed against the driver. For example, if you sustained an injury in an accident caused by an intoxicated driver, the driver may face other charges, in addition to the DUI charge. This means that while it is unlikely that your civil case will have any effect on the criminal case, the district attorney may use your injuries as evidence.

Filing a Civil Claim

If you suffered serious injuries in a crash with a drunk driver, you can file a claim against the driver’s insurance and request financial compensation for your medical expenses, out-of-pocket costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, compensation is possible through a lawsuit in civil court.

Civil cases hinge on the injured party proving that the drunk driver caused the accident and that the accident led to her injuries. This burden of proof, however, is much lower than in a criminal case. If the “preponderance of the evidence” shows the defendant was most likely responsible for the accident, then the party filing the suit may be eligible to collect compensation for her losses.

Impact of One on The Other

DUI civil and criminal cases do not often affect each other, but there is often shared evidence between them. Attorneys for the injured party frequently present evidence from the criminal case — Nassau or Suffolk accident reports, police reports, blood alcohol level test results, witness reports — to prove the defendant drove while intoxicated. Providing this proof is paramount because drunk driving is always a reckless and negligent action.

The injured party has to go a step further, though. Additional proof is necessary to show the accident caused their injuries and the losses she suffered. This requires presenting additional evidence such as medical records and calling other witnesses to testify.

How An Attorney Can Help

The Long Island drunk driving accident lawyers at Goldstein & Bashner represent the victims of DUI crashes in New York. We can help you pursue a civil claim against the driver in a Suffolk County or Nassau County court.

If you suffered serious injuries in a DUI crash and need compensation to cover your financial losses, contact us today to schedule a free case review and learn more.

Neal A. Goldstein
Goldstein and Bashner
We know you have questions, so Goldstein and Bashner offers a number of free reports and information on this website.
1778 Hempstead Turnpike East Meadow, NY 11554
(516) 874-7303 516-222-0034
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Robert Bashner
Goldstein and Bashner
We know you have questions, so Goldstein and Bashner offers a number of free reports and information on this website.
1778 Hempstead Turnpike East Meadow, NY 11554
(516) 874-7303 516-222-0034
$

Goldstein & Bashner

1778 Hempstead Turnpike East Meadow, NY 11554
(516) 874-7303 516-222-0034
$
Goldstein & Bashner
New York Office New York, NY 10170
212-349-2181 Neal A. Goldstein Robert Bashner Facebook Twitter Linkedin Google
Goldstein & Bashner
Nassau County Office 1778 Hempstead Turnpike East Meadow, NY 11554
(516) 874-7303 516-222-0034 Neal A. Goldstein Robert Bashner FB Twitter Linkedin Google
Goldstein & Bashner
Suffolk County Office Central Islip, NY 11722
631-851-2063 516-222-0034 Neal A. Goldstein Robert Bashner FB Twitter Linkedin Google
Goldstein and Bashner When it comes to the capacity to generate profound upheaval and anguish in the lives of those involved, almost nothing rivals a serious personal injury event stemming from the negligence of others. The physical suffering, financial pressures and family strain that so often result from such circumstances can seem insurmountable unless justice and accountability can be obtained from those responsible.