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Drunk driving instances can lead to criminal and civil cases

People who drive vehicles while they are intoxicated faces several different penalties for their actions. While some people are pulled over for driving under the influence and don't have an accident or any other incidents, others don't have the same thing happen. Some people who get behind the wheel after driving might end up causing an accident.

An alleged drunk driver who is in an accident can face drunk driving charges, as well as other criminal charges. If the accident injured someone or caused property damage, the alleged drunk driver might also face a civil case.

There are marked differences between a civil case and a criminal case. Both cases are independent of each other, which means that what happens in a criminal case won't necessarily affect what happens in a civil case.

A criminal case can often have incarceration as a penalty, but a civil case won't. Both types of cases can have monetary factors. A criminal case can involve restitution and fines. A civil case can involve judgements.

The standards used in each type of case is difference. In a criminal case, the prosecution must prove a person's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case, only a preponderance of evidence is necessary for an award to be issued.

While both types of cases can impact your life, a criminal case can often have a bigger impact. If you are convicted of drunk driving, your driving privileges can be taken away. You could end up with a criminal record that makes it hard to find a job or a place to live. If you are facing drunk driving charges, you need to get to work on a defense strategy as soon as possible.

Source: FindLaw, "The Differences between a Criminal Case and a Civil Case," accessed Oct. 22, 2015

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