Harassment is a serious issue that can have long-lasting effects on victims. It is a crime in the state of New York, and can result in criminal charges and civil lawsuits. Understanding the difference between criminal and civil harassment cases is important, as they have different standards of proof and different outcomes. In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between criminal and civil harassment cases in New York.
Criminal harassment is a crime in New York and is punishable by law. Criminal harassment can take many forms, including stalking, threats, and physical violence. If you believe you are being harassed, you should contact the police immediately. They can investigate your case and, if necessary, file criminal charges against the person harassing you. Criminal harassment cases are heard in criminal court, and the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime.
On the other hand, civil harassment cases are heard in civil court and are typically resolved through a civil lawsuit. In a civil harassment case, the victim can file a lawsuit against the harasser, seeking damages for the harm caused by the harassment. The burden of proof is on the victim to prove that the harassment occurred, and that it caused harm to them. In civil harassment cases, the standard of proof is lower than in criminal cases; the victim must prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence, rather than beyond a reasonable doubt.
It’s important to note that criminal and civil harassment cases can be brought simultaneously. For example, a victim can file a criminal complaint with the police while also pursuing a civil lawsuit against the harasser. However, the outcomes of the cases can be different. In a criminal harassment case, the defendant can be sentenced to jail time and other criminal penalties if found guilty. In a civil harassment case, the defendant may be ordered to pay damages to the victim, but they will not face jail time or other criminal penalties.
It’s also important to note that civil harassment cases have a statute of limitations, which means that the victim must file their lawsuit within a certain period of time after the harassment occurred. In New York, the statute of limitations for civil harassment cases is three years.
In conclusion, harassment is a serious issue that can have long-lasting effects on victims. It’s important to understand the difference between criminal and civil harassment cases in New York. If you are being harassed, it’s important to contact the police immediately and consider filing a civil lawsuit to seek damages for the harm caused by the harassment. An experienced lawyer, like Paul Biagini, can help guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected.