The easiest way to ruin a night out with your friends is to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after having a few drinks and then getting into an accident. A drunk driving crash is the first event in a long line of them that can have a negative impact on your life.
There are two things that you will likely have to worry about after this type of crash. One of these is the criminal charges that you may face. The other is the civil case that might come from the victims. These cases can be difficult but you will have to face them head-on.
Why are two cases possible?
The two cases are possible because they aren’t in the same court system. The criminal charges are handled in the criminal justice system. The claims for compensation that can come with a personal injury case are handled in the civil court system. These two courts are fully independent, so having to face both types doesn’t break the double jeopardy law outlined in the Fifth Amendment. You can be found guilty in one court and not be found guilty in the other.
Do I handle them at the same time?
There is a chance that you will have to face both types of cases at the same time. Since they are in different courts, the schedule might not be exactly the same. One of the cases might be resolved much sooner than the other. Even if they are expected to work through the court system at different rates, you will need to make sure that you are coming up with a strategy for each. The same exact defense likely won’t work in both courts.
What defense strategy should I utilize?
The defense strategy that you use has to be based on what happened at the time of the crash. There aren’t any one-size-fits all defenses that are appropriate in all of these cases. Instead of trying to force a strategy to work, you need to look at each individual component in your case and determine how to address it in the defense. This can help you find ways to insert doubt into the mind of each juror.