If you have been charged with assault, it’s possible that you may have two different types of legal situations on your hands as a result of the crime you have been accused of. The primary reason being, that if you are criminally charged with assault, the accuser may proceed with pressing charges. Once the police have investigated the alleged crime, and the prosecutor has reviewed the police report, they may move forward with filing charges against you. Additionally, if your accuser claims to have damages as a result of the assault, they may proceed with filing a personal injury lawsuit against you through the civil court system. Here are some steps you may want to take if you find that you are facing assault charges, and a subsequent personal injury lawsuit:
Step 1: Contact a Lawyer As Soon as Possible
If you are concerned that you may be charged with assault, it’s important that you contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Not only will they be able to strategize your legal defense, but they can also help to make sure that you do not make any missteps that may make the situation worse. While in some cases you may be burdened with the added pressure of a pending personal injury lawsuit, your lawyer can play an essential role in helping to face this process head-on.
Step 2: Wait to Speak with Law Enforcement
When investigating the assault, law enforcement may ask that you come in for questioning, if you were arrested at the scene, they may immediately initiate this process to gather information from you. While in some cases this may seem harmless enough, enduring questioning is not recommended without your lawyer present. It’s best for you to refrain from answering questions from law enforcement until your lawyer arrives. This can help to ensure that you do not say anything that may further incriminate you.
Step 3: Refrain from Contacting Your Accuser
It’s not uncommon for people to make attempts at contacting their accuser to try to set things right. This has the possibility of making matters far worse than they may already be. In some cases, there may even be a no-contact order in place which restricts you from making contact with the other party. Should you violate a no-contact order you may be found in contempt of court, which could result in further consequences.
Step 4: Be Careful Who You Speak To
While it may be tempting, be cautious in regards to who you speak to surrounding your case. Remember, anything you do or say may be used against you. Even someone close to you whom you trust may accidentally share information you have disclosed to another. While it’s perfectly fine to rely on your family and friends for support, disclosing important details or admitting guilt to them could have a negative impact on your case. Another common mistake? Posting information pertaining to your case on social media. It’s best to refrain from social media altogether. While enduring the legal process, it’s important that you rely on your criminal defense lawyer for guidance regarding your case, not those who are not versed in the law.
Although your criminal charges may be the primary component of the personal injury lawsuit against you, they are two separate legal situations. Because of this, you may have to undergo two legal processes. Facing both can be a complicated, multi-layered situation. You should certainly turn to a criminal defense lawyer for the legal representation you need when enduring this type of legal matter.