Common Issues in Parallel Criminal Proceedings

Many cases that are criminally prosecuted by the State of California can subject an individual to civil liability. One of the most common examples of this is a driving under the influence case. A person may be held liable in San Jose, CA, for any damages to another person or property that arise as a result of the DUI charge.

This is called parallel proceedings. Parallel proceedings refer to more than one cause of action arising out of the same facts or circumstances. An experienced San Jose attorney must be aware of the ways that one proceeding may impact the outcome of another.

Some common issues that arise in parallel proceedings include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The attorney-client privilege
  • Fighting a civil proceeding versus a criminal proceeding
  • The Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination
  • Government agencies sharing information

These issues may seem less obvious, but they can have major implications on both criminal and personal injury proceedings in San Jose, California.

The Fifth Amendment – if, during the personal injury proceeding, the defendant decides to plead the Fifth, then he or she is not protected by the same court rules as in criminal proceedings. For example, in a criminal proceeding, the jury is instructed not to make any inference about a defendant’s decision not to testify. No such rule exists in civil proceedings.

Attorney-Client Privilege – one of the biggest differences between civil and criminal proceedings is that the discovery requirements in criminal proceedings do not apply in civil proceedings. In criminal proceedings, the state is required to give all relevant information about a case to the defense. In a civil case, an attorney’s work is protected by attorney-client privilege or the work product doctrine.

Government Agency Information Sharing – if an individual is charged by the state for a second driving under the influence charge, the state may contact the DMV to obtain information on any prior convictions.

Criminal vs. Civil Proceedings – how an attorney decides to handle a civil proceeding may be completely different than how the state or a criminal defense attorney will handle a criminal proceeding. An attorney must be aware of any strategies in one proceeding that may negatively affect his or her client in any potential parallel or subsequent proceedings.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime and also faces civil liability for those same criminal actions, contact an experienced San Jose defense attorney.

To learn more about parallel proceedings in San Jose, California, speak with the experienced defense attorneys at Ticket Crushers. Our lawyers can help you navigate the potential civil consequences of driving under the influence, including any third-party claims.

The attorneys at Ticket Crushers represent clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Valley, and Coast for driving under the influence charges.

Call us at 1-866-842-5384 now to schedule a free consultation.