Can appealing a civil case that has a warrant, over turn the civil case and criminal at the same time?

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Can appealing a civil case that has a warrant, over turn the civil case and criminal at the same time?

I went to civil court with a warrant on the plaintiff, other person, and he had a warrant on me, the defendent. The civil case was ruled against me. His warrant was dismissed, mine wasn’t. I have now appealed the civil case to state court (Georgia) and I also have a court date for the criminal part, the warrant. When my lawyer and I go to the appeal and if the judge rules in my favor, overturns the original judgment, will I still have to go to criminal court or can the first state judge dismiss the criminal warrant due to me being found not guilty in the original civil case? Thank you.

Asked on May 20, 2009 under Criminal Law, Georgia

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

This is an interesting question, and there isn't a simple answer.  You should ask your lawyer about this, because it depends on a lot of things.

Decisions in civil cases don't often mean much in criminal cases, because there is a higher standard of proof, "beyond a reasonable doubt," for conviction.  For the same reason, a not guilty verdict in a criminal case doesn't prove anything in a civil case;  this is how O.J. was sued for wrongful death (civil) and lost, even though he was acquitted of murder.  Sometimes, the legal issues are different as well.

If you win your appeal, it might -- or might not -- affect your criminal case.  Appeals, even successful ones, don't always completely reverse the trial court;  the appeals court might only change part of the decision below, or might simply send it back to the trial court for a new trial on all or part of the case.


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