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Criminal and Civil Distinctions in a Case of Sexual Misconduct

Published on November 8th, 2018

Criminal Lawyer

Criminal Prosecution for Sexual Misconduct

Various acts equating to sexual misconduct can lead to serious legal charges. A conviction can result in many consequences such as:

  • Lengthy prison sentence
  • Lifetime of parole
  • Lifetime sex offender registration
  • Excessive monetary loss from court costs and fines
  • Losing your job

If faced with criminal charges for sexual misconduct, it is best to consult with criminal defense lawyers Rockville, MD relies on to discuss your options in the face of serious allegations.

Criminal Prosecution

The state brings the case in a criminal prosecution of sexual misconduct instead of the complainant (usually named victim before guilt is even determined). If it results in a conviction, the defendant could be required to pay restitution to the victim, however, it will be much lower than what a victim could receive if they pursued a civil case.

Civil Action Overview of Sexual Misconduct

Consequences for a criminal conviction of sexual misconduct are typically severe. However, this may not be enough for the victim to feel at ease again. Even worse, if the wrongdoer is not convicted or even makes it to trial, then it can be even more disheartening for a victim. In any of these cases, a victim may wish to then file for civil damages in order to seek adequate justice.

Civil Lawsuits

A civil lawsuit is different because an accuser is directly suing the accused about a matter of sexual misconduct. An accuser files a lawsuit claiming their victimization by the accused named as the defendant in the lawsuit.

As well as a specific allegation of sexual misconduct, the victim must also list specific damages and injuries experienced at the hand of the accused. A few examples a plaintiff may list as damages applicable to their case are:

  • physical injuries
  • medical expenses
  • lost wages
  • emotional distress

Distinctions in Standards of Proof

The accused must attempt to understand the difference between a civil and criminal lawsuit when faced with charges of sexual misconduct.

The standard of proof is generally considered proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that there is no logical conclusion other than their guilt in the case. In a criminal case the standard is much higher than in a civil case. The prosecution must prove the guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into sexual misconduct and criminal defense.

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