Roosevelt Sexual Abuse Lawyer
One of the most egregious and mentally scarring acts that a person can commit is a sexual assault. The mental trauma that can be associated with these abuses may prevent the victims from pursing justice. When a person makes the brave decision to stand up to their abuser, the first call should be to the police.
All forms of sexual abuse are criminal offenses and the police will protect all victims and witnesses of sexual violence. The State may prosecute and convict the defendant, but cannot order the abuser to pay compensation to the victim. Roosevelt sexual abuse lawyers can represent those who wish to sue their abuser for compensation in civil court. Distinguished personal injury attorneys and the individuals they may represent, can try holding abusers responsible for their actions.
Criminal vs. Civil Courts
Sexual abuse is one example of an act that is both a crime and a civil cause of action. A cause of action is simply a defined means by which a plaintiff can bring a lawsuit against a defendant. While there is no cause of action known as sexual abuse in New York law, there are any number of other causes of action that a plaintiff may bring. These can include battery, assault, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Roosevelt sexual assault attorneys can examine the facts of their cases to determine which causes of action best fit their particular circumstances. In addition to any civil case that may be brought by a plaintiff, it is likely that the police and District Attorney will bring criminal charges against the abuser. Whether these charges are rape, sexual molestation, or sexual battery, all crimes in the category of sexual abuse are taken very seriously by the authorities.
How to Handle the Risk of Conviction
A conviction for these crimes can result in substantial prison time for the abuser and may bring a small amount of peace of mind for the victim. However, even if the abuser is sentenced to a life term in prison, the court is powerless to require that the defendant pay any compensation to the victim. Only through the above mentioned civil causes of action can a plaintiff recover monetary damages.
While the criminal and civil cases will be handled independently of each other, there is one important area where the two sections of laws intersect. A legal concept known as res judicata states that once an issue of fact is decided in court, it cannot be reargued. If a defendant is convicted of sexual abuse in criminal court, they cannot then argue in civil court that the abuse never happened.
For this reason, it may benefit potential plaintiffs to wait out the results of a criminal case before filing a civil claim. However, all plaintiffs should be aware that there is only a limited time to file a claim. Roosevelt sexual abuse lawyers are knowledgeable and dedicated to working with individuals from the initial consultation to determine the proper timing of their cases.
How a Roosevelt Sexual Abuse Attorney Can Help
Making the decision to report an abuser to the police is the first step towards pursuing justice. This can take a great deal of courage, but New York’s police departments take all allegations of sexual abuse very seriously. Even if an abuser is arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced, the criminal court is powerless to order the payment of compensation. Roosevelt sexual abuse lawyers are here to represent people in these separate but related civil lawsuits. Attorneys can listen to a someone’s story with compassion to determine an appropriate plan for moving forward.