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Birmingham Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Many people consider sexual abuse to be a purely criminal matter. Indeed, this is the aspect of sexual abuse that gets the most coverage by media. While sexual abuse is considered to be one of the most severe criminal acts that a person can commit, there can also be a civil consequence for their actions.

The criminal and civil courts operate in two entirely separate jurisdictions. Just because the criminal courts have said that the defendant is not guilty, does not mean that there are no avenues to pursue justice.

Birmingham sexual abuse lawyers work with clients who wish to bring a civil suit against their abusers. To discuss your case and the various steps you can take, call and schedule a consultation with an experienced injury attorney today.

Sexual Assault Defined in Alabama

There is no civil action labeled “sexual assault” in Alabama. Rather, a plaintiff must bring suit under other recognized torts such as:

  • Assault,
  • Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress,
  • False Imprisonment, or
  • Battery

The underlying criminal acts that may lead to the need of a Birmingham sexual abuse attorney include but are not limited to:

  • Sexual Abuse
  • Rape
  • Sodomy
  • Sexual Abuse of a Child

Attorneys examine every aspect of their clients’ cases to determine which tort best applies to their individual situations. Regardless of which tort applies, a lower standard of proof is required for a successful case in a civil trial as opposed to a criminal case.

One thing to always keep in mind is the statute of limitations. According to Alabama Code 6-2-38, a plaintiff only has two years after the facts that led to the claim occurred to file a case in court. Sexual abuse attorneys can help clients to better understand the requirements for filing a claim.

Criminal v. Civil Cases

If a person has faced sexual abuse, there was likely a criminal charge filed against the perpetrator. If not, lawyers encourage all people who have been abused to contact their local police right away. Talking with the police can be the first step toward justice.

The criminal case and civil case will be examined separately. Regardless of the outcome of the criminal case, a plaintiff with the help of a Birmingham sexual abuse lawyer can still file a suit in civil court. For example, if a defendant is found not guilty in a sexual abuse criminal trial, they may still be found guilty in a civil trial. This is because there are different standards of proof for criminal and civil cases.

In a criminal trial, a defendant must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A useful way to think of this can be a defendant is guilty if the jury is 99.9 percent sure that they committed the crime. Civil verdicts operate on a different scale.

There, a plaintiff must only demonstrate that the defendant is liable to 50.1 percent surety. Therefore, in a theoretical situation, if a jury decides that a defendant is 75 percent likely to have been at fault, they will be not guilty in a criminal trial, but will be liable in a civil case.

How a Birmingham Sexual Abuse Attorney Can Help

If a person has been sexually abused, the mental pain can be just as serious as the physical pain. Regardless of the outcome of any criminal proceedings, a civil remedy may be available to you.

Our firm’s Birmingham sexual abuse attorneys are committed to providing compassionate but aggressive representation and dedicated to getting you the compensation and justice that you deserve. Due to Alabama’s statute of limitation laws, time is of the essence, contact our firm today.