Not always. After a crime has been committed, a prosecutor determines whether the government will pursue a criminal case against the perpetrator. As a victim, it is important to remember that although the Prosecutor’s role is to seek justice, they are not your attorney. The prosecutor represents the government’s interests and makes decisions based on what they believe is in the best interest of the public. Frequently that aligns with crime victims’ wishes, but at other times it may not. Prosecutors are also responsible for ensuring the case follows proper procedures, accounting for both the victim’s and the defendant’s legal rights. State law requires that victims are afforded certain rights that protect their privacy, ensure their safety, and offer support. These rights are detailed in Washington’s Crime Victim Bill of Rights. Civil attorneys can help safeguard these rights so victims are protected from further trauma, and so that prosecutors can focus on their primary task of seeking justice.
Yes. There are many reasons the prosecuting attorney may decide not to file criminal charges, including the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But in a civil case, you only need enough evidence to establish your claim on a more probable than not basis. Also, the government can only bring charges against the crime perpetrator. But the perpetrators of the crime may not be the only ones at fault. In a civil case you can make claims against businesses, corporations, government agencies, or other organizations if they had a role in allowing you to be injured at the hands of the perpetrator.
It depends, so you should contact us for a consultation immediately. Time limits for filing a civil suit vary but can be as little as two years from the date of the crime, this is called the Statute of Limitations. Once that time limit is reached, you may be completely precluded from filing a civil suit. Don’t wait to contact us for a consultation so we can help you understand the time limitations you may be facing and avoid limiting your potential civil options or losing them altogether.
Not necessarily. It can take a year or more from the time of the crime for a criminal case to conclude. Timing for a civil suit in relation to the criminal case depends on several factors, including laws limiting the time you have for filing a civil case (the Statute of Limitations) and who you will sue. Because every case is different, and time limits for filing a civil suit can be as little as two years from the date of the crime, don’t wait to contact us for a consultation.

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