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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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If a case is filed that involves crimes that were committed

Customer Question

If a case is filed that involves crimes that were committed and the parties agree to a settlement before trial, will the accused still have to answer for the crimes? i have a couple of men who searched my home and used an led power of attorney that I revoked years ago to obtain financial information from my bank. A baby monitor in the house recorded the search and a member f the bank was witness to the power of attorney claim. There are more potential charges. From what I understand, I'll have to lay out all of the evidence in the initial lawsuit so what happens if I decide to not go through with it, specifically, settle the case? If there are records of crimes submitted is it simply up to the court to pursue them? I guess my concern is that if I'm willing to settle, are my chances of doing so going to be less favorable if file the suit first? After all, if they know hey will be brought up on charges regardless of if. Drop the suit or not then they probably wouldn't care to settle...
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

You are dealing with two separate issues:

  1. Civil liability and strategy. Many litigants do consider settlement prior to filing suit as it will reduce their litigation costs, time, and emotional investment in the case. However, if you have a very strong case, it is sometimes worthwhile to file suit first and then try to settle. Really, there are many, many variables which attorneys will consider in deciding whether or not to make a "pre-litigation demand" on the defendants to try to get an out of court settlement.
  2. Criminal liability (you refer to "crimes" and "charges"). Criminal liability is something that is dealt with by the state. So as the victim you can make a report to law enforcement (your local police or sheriff - use their non-emergency line as this is not an active crime threatening life or property), and they will investigate and refer the matter to the prosecutor's (District Attorney's) office. The prosecutor will then bring criminal charges against the defendants. The victim may be a witness in the criminal matter, but they have very little involvement in the actual prosecution of these criminal matters. (Courts do not investigate or bring charges).

Again there is strategy regarding whether or not it is worth having criminal charges being brought against defendants. If the DA gets a conviction, the victim can then use this conviction in a later civil proceeding to prove liability (simplifying their case), however, if the defendants are now incarcerated, they may be less able to pay a damages judgment.

I really would suggest speaking to a local civil litigation attorney to help you with these strategy questions as they apply to your specific case.