Can My Civil Case Lead to Criminal Charges?

Most people wouldn’t think that entering into a civil lawsuit or mediation would wind up with them facing charges in criminal court, however these scenarios do happen. Continue reading to learn when, and what you should do if your civil case leads to a criminal one.

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Civil Court

Small claims court, also known as civil court, deals mostly with civil cases disputing small amounts of money. Civil law is the area of the American legal system that manages disputes or wrong-doings between private parties. A common example of such cases involves property damage, family law and divorce cases, disagreements over property ownership, breach of contracts, landlord cases, wrongful terminations, personal injuries, and similar legal matters.

The dollar limit that defines a small claim is $6,000 or less. However, in Indianapolis, the cap is set at $8,000. Suing for more than these amounts in Indiana will require you to go through a different court system. In most cases, small claims court proceedings are speedy, uncomplicated, and inexpensive. They are also quite informal, so you do not need professional legal counsel, nor extensive knowledge of the law or statutes governing your case.

Criminal Court

There are two primary types of criminal courts in the United States, state courts and federal courts. Of course, within those include appellate courts, district courts, and so on. State courts are established by the state, and may include local courts as well. Local courts are usually established by individual cities, counties, townships, or other types of common municipalities. They adjudicate cases that involve crimes that break laws set and enforced by the state (also known as state laws). In contrast, federal courts are established under the United States Constitution, and adjudicate cases that involve crimes that break laws passed by Congress. See our article, “The Difference Between Federal Law and State Law” to learn more.

When Civil Turns Criminal and Vice Versa

in most scenarios, criminal cases can lead to civil cases. For instance, if Dave punches a guy in a bar, he can be arrested under assault charges, which is a criminal case. If the victim suffers extensive injuries, perhaps a fractured jaw, broken teeth, or permanent scarring, they can choose to file a claim against Dave in civil court to recover compensation for his damages and losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages.

In the opposite scenario, there are times when a civil case can lead to a person being indicted on criminal charges. For example, if Tina files a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, Jed, but if he violates that order, the civil restraining order case remains, plus he can face criminal charges for violating a protective order.

Where to Get Trusted Criminal Defense in Indianapolis, Indiana

Call the Law Office of David E. Lewis at 317-636-7514 to learn how you can beat your Indiana criminal charges with aggressive defense. Attorney David E. Lewis is your solution to reducing your sentence, and protecting your freedom. Our Indianapolis criminal defense law firm offers free initial consultations, so you do not have to pay anything to simply talk to a lawyer and get advice on how to approach your charges. Call 317-636-7514 to schedule your online, over-the-phone, or in-office appointment, today.

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