Personal Legal ServiceWhere You Come First
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. DWI
  4.  » Drunk driving crashes: Liable parties may face civil and criminal responses

Drunk driving crashes: Liable parties may face civil and criminal responses

On Behalf of | May 1, 2024 | DWI

If you were impaired and caused a crash while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, there are several things that you must think about. While many people focus solely on the criminal penalties associated with scenarios like this, there’s also a chance that you’ll have to face a civil case.

Many people know that the United States Constitution has a provision that prevents double jeopardy. This doesn’t prevent a person from facing a civil case and a criminal case based on one event. Instead, it prevents a person from facing multiple criminal cases based on one event. Because of this, you can face one criminal case plus civil cases, even though you can’t generally be subjected to multiple criminal cases stemming from the same incident.

What does a criminal case do?

A criminal case is meant to punish a person for breaking the law. In this case, that law is the state’s prohibition against drunk driving. This case can result in incarceration, fines and other criminal penalties. In order to convict you, the prosecution has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a much stricter standard than what’s required for a civil case.

What does a civil case do?

A civil case’s purpose is to allow victims to seek compensation for the financial damages they’re dealing with. The complainant has to prove with a preponderance of evidence that the defendant caused the crash that led to their injuries and damages. This case is completely separate from the criminal case, so it’s critical that you learn how to address each one effectively.

Because these cases are so complex, it’s best to have a legal representative who can explain all your options. It’s critical to consider how various concerns will affect each case independently. Doing this as early as possible gives you ample time to determine how to craft each defense strategy to your advantage.