If someone settles a civil suit regarding battery, how can that affect any criminal charges?

When someone brings charges of battery against you and initiates a civil lawsuit before the criminal one, if he agrees to settle this civil lawsuit, does he automatically renounce to his right to pursue you criminally for the same facts?

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Criminal Law, Utah

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A criminal and civil matter arising out of the same set of facts and the same incident are two different proceedings involving two different burdens of proof for a result in favor of the prosecution (beyond a reasonable doubt) and plaintiff (preponderance of evidence).

If the civil action is resolved before the criminal matter, the prosecution has the discretion to continue the criminal matter even though the victim in the criminal matter and former plaintiff in the civil action may not want to pursue the criminal matter further. The plaintiff/victim does not renounce his right to continue with the criminal matter if the civil matter is settled. 

The prosecution has the duty to prosecute all crimes in the county of its jurisdiction for the people of its state and has the discretion to dismiss or pursue a specific action.


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