If you or another party are involved in an automobile accident in New York state, and suspected of Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”), it is imperative that you contact the attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP. An automobile accident is a civil action, which means one party is seeking damages from another party. Conversely, a DWI is a criminal action, which means the state is making a case against you for fines or imprisonment or both. Applying both sets of laws to an auto accident case involving DWI can be very complicated, and contacting the experienced attorneys at Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP can be critical to protecting your rights, your wallet, and even your freedom.
Criminal convictions in a civil case.
The standard of proof for a criminal conviction is ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ This means that there must be no reasonable doubt as to the evidence presented against you in order to convict. This standard of proof requires indisputable evidence on every element of the claim against you. The District Attorney’s office will be prosecuting the claim. If you are convicted of a criminal offense such as DWI, this conviction can be used in the civil case against you to establish the fact that you were intoxicated. This can give rise to higher damages against you if you are sued as a result of an auto accident. To protect your rights in such complex legal matters, contact the team of DWI attorneys with many years of experience handling such cases at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP right away.
However, this process can work in your favor as well, if the other party involved in the accident is convicted of DWI. In order to hold the other party properly accountable for both a DWI and resulting injury and property damage to you, contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP now.
Civil cases are generally not admissible in criminal trials.
Where the civil auto accident claim goes to trial prior to the criminal case regarding a DWI, much of the evidence in the civil matter will not be admissible against you in the criminal trial. This is because to establish liability in a civil case requires a lower standard of proof known as a ‘preponderance of the evidence.’ This means that a fact is proven if it is more likely than not true. This is not sufficient for a criminal trial. Facts at a criminal trial must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, if a police report was used in a civil trial, the district attorney must produce that same report in the criminal trial and cannot rely on the findings of the civil court related to the existence and/or contents of the report.
Contact the law office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP now.
If you or a family member have been involved in an auto accident in New York, and especially where DWI charges are involved, the seasoned attorneys at the Law Office Cohen & Jaffe, LLP are waiting to assist you now. Contact us anytime by phone at (516) 358-6900.