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  1. #1
    AbstractCypher Guest

    Guilty in Criminal court, Guilty in Civil???

    What is the name of your state? Illinois

    Hey guys... I was wondering if I was convicted in a criminal court for Agg. Battery (@ a bar) would I have ANY, and I mean ANY, chance of winning a Civil case against me. I copped out to a lesser sentence in Criminal court because I was in the County jail for too long and didnt want to wait any longer. But, I do believe I could have beaten the case, just didnt have a lawyer or the time to fight it out in a jail cell. What do you think. Thanks so much for any information.

    Raymond
  2. #2
    stephenk is offline Senior Member
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    Sorry, you lose again. By pleading guilty in the criminal case you just made the civil case against you a winner for the other side.

    You cant argue in the civil case that you are not liable because you already admitted to the battery in the criminal case.
  3. #3
    racer72 is offline Senior Member
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    Remember O.J., innocent in criminal court, guilty in civil.
  4. #4
    AbstractCypher Guest
    Thanks for the info guys. I have one last Q: Even if I never went to trial, none of the evidence was heard, and the evidence WOULD have shown my innocence had it been heard, I still couldn't avoid being sued? I would have won... did't want to sit in jail any longer. And anybody who's from Chicago will understand why.
  5. #5
    stephenk is offline Senior Member
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    does not matter. once you pled guilty the game is over. you cant play again.

    you dont get a second chance to defend yourself.
  6. #6
    AmateurShyster Guest
    The basic legal issue here is hearsay. Your plea is an out of court statement. In general, an out of court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted in that statement is hearsay and, therefore, inadmissible. The reason for this rule is that the declarant is not subject to cross examination as to the basis for the statement, so that the evidence is considered unreliable.

    There are, however, many exceptions to the hearsay rule. One of them is for declarations against penal interest. Your allocution may have included statements that are arguably within that exception. Another exception is for court records related to a conviction. The reason for the declaration-against-interest exception is the idea that people don't generally lie when they admit things that harm them. The reason for the court-record exception is that the record itself is probably accurate and reflects a determination of all elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

    A plea in a criminal case is a bit different than a conviction, though. I wasn't able to access the Illinois Rules of Evidence online to see what it has to say on this issue. In federal courts, evidence of plea of *nolo contendre* would not be admissible (Fed. R. Ev. 410). You would need to check the Illinois rules to see what it says. There might be different treatment for different types of plea, for different types of crime, etc.

    No matter what the evidence rules say as to admissibility of your plea, that plea does not conclusively establish your liability in a civil case. At most, introducing the plea would establish the plaintiff's prima facie case. You would be free to attempt to persuade the trier of fact by a preponderance of evidence that you were not liable. Your explanation of why you entered the plea would be relevant.
  7. #7
    stephenk is offline Senior Member
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    Wrong. The plea in a criminal case is res judicata as to the subsequent civil action. A certified copy of the guilty plea is not hearsay since the criminal and civil actions all arise out of the same incident.

    The court will not entertain his "reasons" for pleading guilty. The only reason the court considers is that he pled guilty because he was guilty.

    The only defense to present would be to try and minimize the injury claims being made by the plaintiff. Trying to argue that the original poster is not liable is a defense that is no longer available.
  8. #8
    AmateurShyster Guest
    "Wrong. The plea in a criminal case is res judicata as to the subsequent civil action. A certified copy of the guilty plea is not hearsay since the criminal and civil actions all arise out of the same incident."

    This is not what res judicata means at all, actually. The criminal case is between the defendant and the state, not between the defendant and the victim. If we were talkinga bout two *civil* cases, your point would be well taken. If things were as you say, there'd be no need for a provision in the rules of evidence, would there? Or for extensive discussions in hornbooks on evidence.
  9. #9
    AmosMoses is offline Member
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    You sound pretty damned smart there, Mr. (or Mrs.) Shyster!

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