Boca Raton, FL – The state of Florida has a criminal court system that is meant to issue sentences and punish people who violate criminal laws written into statutes. In addition to these criminal courts, it is also possible that someone may face a civil lawsuit for harming someone in a different court system. The civil courts only make the defendant pay out money to the victim in the form of damages rather than any other kinds of punishment. Drunk driving cases can result in legal action through both court systems, and different outcomes are possible. 

Do the criminal charges affect the outcome of a civil case? 

Regardless of what happens with criminal charges against a drunk driver, the victim can always file a civil lawsuit for compensation. This is especially true if the victim needs to recover money spent on things like medical treatment and healthcare, and for lost wages or time away from work. The state ultimately decides what happens with a criminal case, and the victim has much less control over that system. 

Criminal cases versus evidence of negligence

The legal limit for driving with alcohol in the driver’s bloodstream is .08 in Florida. However, this is the limit for someone to be charged criminally. If the person is tested and registers a lower amount, or there are other indicators of impairment besides the person’s blood alcohol concentration, these can potentially be used as evidence of negligence in a civil case. 

Some of the evidence collected by law enforcement for the state’s criminal case may potentially be used by the plaintiff in their own lawsuit for injuries as well if it is relevant. The police on the scene will observe the driver, make them perform physical exercises to test for their ability to follow instructions and execute movements, and there is a chemical test of either breath, blood, or urine. 

Restitution in criminal cases

Sometimes a court may order restitution to a victim as part of a criminal sentence of plea for a drunk driving accident. This technically counts as part of a defendant’s probation, but there are also issues with trying to pay accident victims through restitution. It is rare that the actual restitution payments are tracked or satisfied in full. A personal injury lawsuit is usually the best option for the victim to be paid in full for their losses. 

Experienced accident attorneys in Florida

Rosenberg Injury Law helps with accident cases in Boca Raton and nearby parts of Florida. The firm provides the highest quality representation and advice throughout the course of a lawsuit and settlement negotiations. 

Firm contact info:

The Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Rosenberg

5255 North Federal Highway, 3rd Floor, Boca Raton, Florida 33487


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