If you have been charged with a serious crime such as a sexual assault, aggravated assault or assault causing bodily harm, or even a minor assault, the complainant (i.e. victim) can also sue you in civil court for damages. Damages can be very substantial in big cases such as sexual assault, for good reason. There are serious and negative repercussions for victims of sexual assault, psychologically, emotionally, physically and even more so for children. What is the affect if the accused decides to plead guilty to these crimes? Can your admission that you committed the crime on a criminal guilty plea be used against you in q civil proceedings? The short answer, is yes. If you, for example, have been convicted of a sexual assault and plead guilty to it, you have admitted to those facts in the criminal court. The complainant now can easily sue you and use that admission as proving liability that you “did it.”   In other words, you have already admitted you committed the offence and they are going to be able to prove liability in the civil lawsuit very easily.  There are exceptions to every rule and this one as well has narrow and extenuating circumstances where the victim may not be able to use your criminal guilty plea as an admission to prove liability in the law suit, but I won’t get into them as it is complicated.  However, in 99% of cases where you have already plead guilty to a sexual assault, liability is going to be admitted and proven and the only question remaining is the amount of damages to be awarded. So, now the only thing the judge has to decide is the quantum of damages law suit.    This   is just one of many factors for you to consider before you entering into a guilty plea in a criminal matter involving a complainant. It is one factor you should consider that you can be facing a substantial law suit for a high damages amount and your criminal guilty plea has in most cases already established liability for the lawsuit.  Therefore, the only question remaining in the sexual assault law suit would involve how much money you will have to pay the victim.   That is the short answer to this question. It is a very common question that clients ask me and even if they do not ask me, I always review this issue with them before they make a decision to plead guilty to a serious crime.

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