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Assault: Criminal Cases vs. Personal Injury Claims

When an individual is assaulted, there can be two different types of cases. The difference between the two is the key. There are criminal cases and personal injury claims. Both are similar in ways, but there are important differences that are essential.

What are criminal cases?

Assault CaseIn a criminal case, the defendant will be judged by a jury or the judge himself. The prosecuting attorney, which is usually the district attorney, will handle the case and represent the people of the state against the defendant. The victim will only be asked to speak if he is called as a witness.

Criminal assault is normally considered a misdemeanor unless there was aggravated assault meaning the defendant performed the assault intending to do serious harm or cause death to the victim. In this case, the misdemeanor then becomes a felony charge, and the defendant faces stiffer charges and punishment.

What are personal injury cases?

Civil cases, or personal injury claims, are controlled by the victim. In this situation, the victim becomes the plaintiff and is attempting to sue the defendant for damages such as medical bills or lost wages. In a personal injury case, the defendant won’t face a jail sentence or fines if he is found guilty. He will be required to pay whatever restitution the judge or jury decides on to the plaintiff.

Can the defendant face a criminal case and personal injury case?

If it is decided that a defendant will face a criminal case, the victim can sue him in a personal injury case only after the criminal case is finalized. If the personal injury case has already begun when the criminal case opens, this must be put on hold until the end of the criminal case.

One main reason for this is the victim can use the decision of the court to his advantage. If the defendant is found guilty in criminal court, the victim can use that verdict as evidence in his personal injury claim.

How is a verdict determined?

In a criminal case, a verdict can only be reached if the jury decides unanimously that he is either innocent or guilty. In a personal injury case, most of the jury must decide a verdict. As long as the majority of the jury rules one way, the verdict stands. There can be a mistrial, but this is rare.

Should you provide your own defense?

An individual may provide his own defense, but this is not wise or suggested. An experienced Miami criminal lawyer knows every aspect and legality of the criminal and civil court system. They know the right questions to ask, the right people to see and the right route to follow to acquire the verdict you need.

You may try to represent yourself and forget seemingly minor things that can turn into major things in the courtroom. What will you do? At that point, it’s too late to say you need more time. You will have to proceed and hope for the best.

You are worth more than that. You should walk out of that courtroom with a smile knowing you won your case. With the proper Miami criminal lawyer by your side, you can do just that. We know the ins and outs of personal injury claims and can help you get this settled and get back to the beach. We will work diligently to solve your case and give you peace of mind again. Give us a call today, and let us get started working for you.

Author: M. G. Hansen

Marcia Giordano Hansen has been practicing law for almost 20 years. During this time, she has worked for the government at the Miami Dade Public Defender’s office representing indigent clients accused for state criminal offense; for an insurance defense firm wherein she represented doctors sued for medical malpractice and entities sued for negligence; and for a private white collar criminal defense firm practicing white collar crime defending individuals accused of social security fraud, Medicare fraud, drug trafficking and other federal crimes.

Her wide range of knowledge in these different areas of law, coupled with the teachings of some of the most well respected legal minds in the country gives her a unique skill set which has benefited all of her clients resulting in victory and success in each case she has handled.

Mrs. Hansen, in her own practice, has handled criminal defense cases, personal injury cases and real estate disputes. She speaks Spanish, French and is proficient in Italian which enables her to represent clients from all over the world. She is dedicated to the growth and success of Hansen & Taylor and prides herself in giving VIP treatment to each and every client.

Marcia lives in Coral Gables with her husband and daughter. She is an avid sports fan, an animal lover and political junkie. She is also a supporter and member of the Board of Executive Relations for the Special Olympics of Miami, an organization dedicated to the well being of children and adults with disabilities.

What Past Clients Say

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I was referred to Mrs. Hansen by another lawyer with different expertise. From the very moment we first met and spoke about my case Marcia was a doll. Very knowledgeable in her field and good at explaining things in layman’s terms for those unfamiliar with legal jargon. I highly recommend her for any criminal cases. She was great at negotiating a plea deal for me and I’m satisfied with the outcome of this case. I’m very pleased with my decision to hire her as my representation.

Previous Client 5 September 27, 2016

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