Springfield Sexual Assault Attorneys
Fighting to Recover Compensation for Survivors of Sexual Assault in Springfield, MO
Sexual assault is a heinous crime that demands justice. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system frequently falls short and fails survivors. Fortunately, other legal remedies are often available. Civil lawsuits allow survivors to seek compensation directly from their abusers regardless of the outcome of a criminal trial.
Potts Law Firm stands with survivors of sexual assault and is proud to help them stand up and enforce their rights. We can offer you the compassionate, capable representation you need to navigate this difficult moment. Our Springfield sexual assault lawyers have over 250 years of combined experience and recovered over $1 billion for our clients. Our team understands how these cases are handled and decided in Missouri, and we recognize what is at stake. It’s all about getting you the best possible result, and we will leverage the full extent of our power as we fight to deliver the outcome you deserve.
To learn more about your legal options, we encourage you to schedule a free initial consultation by calling (417) 323-6752 or contacting us online. Same-day appointments are available, and we offer services in English and Spanish.
Can I File a Sexual Assault Civil Lawsuit If My Abuser Was Not Convicted in Missouri?
Perpetrators of sexual assault are often arrested and charged when their crimes are reported to law enforcement. The state will likely make every effort to prosecute, but meeting the burden of proof in these cases can be difficult. Prosecutors may even negotiate a plea deal that allows a defendant to get off on lesser charges, even if the survivor objects. You thus cannot exclusively depend on the criminal justice system to secure a conviction, but you may understandably be wondering if a failure to convict will prevent you from pursuing civil legal action.
You can file a civil lawsuit against a perpetrator of sexual assault even if they are not charged or convicted. Civil and criminal proceedings do not affect one another, meaning you can typically take civil legal action even before a criminal case has concluded. Keep in mind that, for the same reason, a criminal conviction does not necessarily warrant a favorable result in a civil case.
It is entirely possible for a survivor of sexual assault to prevail in a civil lawsuit even if their abuser was criminally tried but not convicted. This can happen because of the differing burdens of proof that apply to civil and criminal cases. In a criminal trial, the prosecution must convince the jury that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is a challenge in even the best of circumstances. In a civil case, the plaintiff only has to demonstrate that the defendant “more likely than not” committed sexual assault, a significantly lower burden of proof. Put another way, the prosecution may not be able to prove someone committed sexual assault beyond a reasonable doubt, but the survivor may be able to make a case that the defendant more than likely perpetrated the offense.
If your abuser was not convicted or charged and you are consequently not sure whether you have enough evidence to support a civil case, turn to Potts Law Firm. Our Springfield sexual assault attorneys can assess the circumstances and provide tailored, transparent advice.
Getting you the justice that you deserve is our top priority. Contact us online or call (417) 323-6752 to discuss your case today.
I had a wonderful experience with this law firm.- Stephen P.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him or any of the team at Potts.- Theo C.
The Potts Law Firm is a powerhouse of brilliant attorneys.- Molly H.
I would recommend Potts Law Firm for any and all legal matters that come my way in the future!- W. Gary
Great law firm!- Hugo G.
In Missouri, the amount of time you will have to take civil legal action against your abuser will depend on whether you were sexually assaulted as an adult or minor. If the offense occurred when you were an adult, you will typically get five years from the date of the incident to start the legal process. If you were assaulted as a minor, you have ten years from the date you turned 21 to file a lawsuit. If you were not aware of sexual abuse that occurred when you were a minor but later discover it, you may get an additional three years from the date of discovery (or the date you reasonably should have discovered the abuse) to initiate a lawsuit. You will be unable to recover any compensation if you miss the relevant deadline, so be sure to discuss your case with us as soon as you can.