The Importance Of Hiring An Attorney After Sexual Abuse
At Kennedy Kennedy & Ives, we’re focused on empowering survivors of sexual abuse. We strive to help our clients every step of the way. We’re here to listen, not to retraumatize them.
If an incident of abuse took place many years ago, we can help. If you’re not sure whether to pursue a private case or let prosecutors open a criminal case, we can help you understand your rights and options to guide you toward a positive resolution.
Even If Years Have Passed, We Can Help
The amount of time someone has to file a lawsuit for a given injury, known as the statute of limitations, is complicated. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations varies based on the type of offense committed, whether the victim was a minor or adult, and in the case of third-party suits, whether the case is brought against a public or private entity.
Even if an incident occurred many years ago, an attorney may help you find a way to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations.
An Attorney Can Help In Both Criminal And Civil Cases
Sexual abuse cases can be brought both through the criminal justice system and through private civil lawsuits. The primary differences between the two are the amount of proof required and who is in control of the case.
In a civil case, the survivor (or family of a victim) brings a case against the abuser. Their lawyer or legal team investigates the case, and the client makes all important decisions. A jury in a civil case can award damages if they find the abuser is liable for the injuries they caused, rather than deciding guilt vs. innocence. Because of this, civil cases are often the best way to achieve justice in sexual abuse cases.
Criminal cases are brought by the state rather than by the survivor or victim’s representative. Having your own attorney is still incredibly helpful in these cases, however. We can work with prosecutors to help ensure the perpetrator is held accountable. If the criminal case does not result in a conviction, you can still find justice through a civil lawsuit with the help of a skilled attorney.
Experienced Help When You Need It
Finding an attorney for such a sensitive, important case can be difficult. We offer free initial consultations where we can discuss your case, and you can decide if our firm is a good fit for you. To schedule an appointment call 505-431-2167 or contact us online.