Kalamazoo, MI asked in Civil Rights and Criminal Law for Michigan

Q: Can winning a civil case be used to overturn a criminal conviction?

Can a civil case win be introduced as new evidence in a criminal case and get a conviction overturned?

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1 Lawyer Answer

Brent T. Geers

Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Good question! But no, a civil and criminal are two different tracks. The main reason being is the vastly different burden of proof. In criminal matters, you are dealing with "beyond a reasonable doubt", which is like 90% certainty. In civil matters, you are most often dealing with preponderance of the evidence, which is like 51% certainty.

Looking at it in strictly math terms, 51% will never be greater than 90%.

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