Victim’s Rights

Compassionate, Vigorous Representation of Victims in Criminal and Civil Proceedings

We are aware of no other firms in the country who have assembled such a multi-faceted team to address every possible issue you might face as a survivor.

Here are the types of cases our team has handled on behalf of survivors of crime:

  • Drunk and impaired driving and boating
  • Physical assaults, shootings, robbery and homicide
  • Sexual assaults of adults
  • Child abuse and child sexual assault
  • Clergy abuse
  • Crimes at shopping centers, office buildings, apartments, hotels, banks, ATMs, and other businesses
  • Illegal videotaping
  • Criminal fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Child exploitation (child pornography)
  • Stalking
  • Elder abuse
  • Robbery and home invasion

If you or a loved one has been victimized by crime, you are not alone. Many survivors are so overwhelmed they cannot find the strength to get out of bed in the morning. Yet, on top of the trauma you face, you are expected to navigate a convoluted criminal justice process by no choice of your own. Too many survivors feel re-victimized by a system that only recognizes the “state” as the “victim” while providing the actual living, breathing, victim with little guidance or support. We are here to help relieve your burden by assisting through every aspect of your case, from your first contact with police to the day your perpetrator is (hopefully) sent to prison, and through any claims you may assert against the offender or third parties. Where most lawyers focus narrowly on the civil case and leave you without representation in the criminal process, we stand with you every step of the way. We also understand your healing is as important as seeking justice, and we help you navigate the criminal and civil justice system with that in mind.

We are your “One-Stop Shop” for the Criminal and Civil Case

Recent advances in crime victim rights allow private attorneys to enter appearances in criminal cases on behalf of crime victims. Although you are not a “party” to the criminal case, you have certain critical rights which are often ignored by overburdened prosecutors and judges. We are recognized national leaders in crime victim rights and we will vigorously defend your rights in the criminal process in addition to analyzing and advising you on any civil claims against the perpetrator and/or responsible third parties. We can offer survivors this type of “one-stop shop” because we have a formidable team to partner on our victim rights cases, including:

Our criminal law practice group consisting of former state and federal prosecutors with decades of combined criminal prosecution experience;

Our catastrophic personal injury group, made up of some of the nation’s most accomplished personal injury specialists who have obtained substantial settlements and verdicts on behalf of their clients;

Our insurance coverage group, headed by a former insurance regulator, helps the victim rights team find and apply for all possible insurance coverage;

Our Internet law practice group works with our clients to defend survivor’s privacy and to resist attempts to gain access to survivor’s social media and private Internet data.

To understand what sets us apart, you need to know the difference between a criminal case and any potential civil case you may assert against the perpetrator and/or third parties.

  • The classic case illustrating the difference between a criminal and civil case is the OJ Simpson case in which Simpson was acquitted in the criminal case but found civilly liable in a wrongful death case brought by the Goldman family.

Summary of Differences Between Criminal and Civil Cases

Criminal CaseCivil Case
Victim is not a party and (has input on) but does not decide what sentence to seek, what charges to bring, etc.Victim is the party plaintiff and has total control of his or her claims in the litigation process
Requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest legal standard
Requires less proof—usually preponderance of the evidence
Primary objective is punishment through jail time although victim may seek restitution for some lossesPrimary objective is compensation for injury through compensatory and punitive damages
Public prosecutor represents the state, victim may retain private lawyer to defend his or her rightsVictim has private lawyer
Victim may obtain judgment of restitution for limited losses incurredVictim is entitled to pain and suffering and broader range of damages

We invite you to contact us or call our office at 410.385.2225 or 800.385.2243 for a complimentary consultation to see how we can make a difference for you.

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