Attorney Cindy Robinson on Panel for Connecticut Office of Victim Services
October 19, 2011
Attorney Cindy Robinson of Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney participated in a panel discussion on October 19th at the Office of Victim Services in Wethersfield, Connecticut. The Office of Victim Services (OVS), Connecticut Judicial Branch, is the state’s lead agency established to provide services to victims of violent crime. The vision of the Office of Victim Services: Connecticut will be a state where all victims of crime are treated with respect and fairness and will receive comprehensive, coordinated, and victim-centered services.
The panel discussed the topic of “Civil Options for Crime Victims.” The audience was a group of approximately 28 victim services advocates (23 Adult-part A & B; 2 Juvenile Matters and 3 Helpline/Board of Pardons & Paroles VSAs).
Attorney Cindy Robinson is a recognized leader in helping victims of sexual abuse navigate through the civil justice system. Some questions and answers related to the discussion are:
What is the difference between criminal and civil cases? Is there a different burden of proof?
Many people know that the burden of proof (or evidence needed to prove the case) in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal cases require a very high standard because being found guilty of a crime is at stake as well as the potential to go to jail. In a civil case, no one is accused of a crime and cannot be found guilty. Instead, the question in a civil case is whether a person was negligent and responsible for damages to another. The burden of proof in a civil case, for example a motor vehicle accident, is lower (easier to prove) than in a criminal case. The standard is “more likely than not” the person was at fault or proof of just over 50% to win the case.
If there is a criminal case presently pending against the perpetrator, can I still file a civil suit?
Yes. The two cases can proceed at the same time, but there may be reasons to wait, if possible, until the criminal case has concluded.