Southern Missouri Rape Prosecution Lawyer

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Being a survivor of rape is a terrible ordeal. Your sense of security and bodily autonomy has been taken away. And you are now trying to heal and learn to survive in your new normal. In the process, you may have mounting medical bills for your physical and emotional wounds and you face continuing costs for the trauma of your rape.

If you are a survivor of rape, contact the Southern Missouri sexual assault lawyers with Privette Law Office. We serve survivors in Springfield, Greene County, and other communities. Our sexual assault lawyers are committed to helping you get justice through the civil court system while providing compassionate support throughout your case. 

Contact the sexual assault lawyers at Privette Law Office today for your free, confidential consultation.

The Long-Term Costs of Rape

In most cases, the person who was a victim of rape knew the perpetrator. Rape most commonly occurs between acquaintances, family members, and intimate partners. The long-term consequences of being a survivor of rape include emotional distress and physical recovery. Survivors of rape may experience the following:

  • Depression
  • Flashbacks
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • PTSD
  • Eating disorders
  • Suicide

Physical injuries can include any bruising and scarring that occurred during the rape and treatment for STIs.

While recovering, a survivor may not be able to work because of the physical and emotional wounds suffered during the rape, which means that the survivor also suffers financial injury.

Criminal vs. Civil Cases

In Missouri, as in other states, rape is defined as a crime. However, there are differences between pursuing a case through a criminal court and a civil court.

Rape Criminal Prosecution

First, as a crime, rape is prosecuted in criminal courts by a prosecutor. After reporting a rape to the police, the police investigate the rape and provide the prosecutor with the evidence they have accumulated. Reviewing that evidence, the prosecutor will decide if there is enough evidence to proceed with a criminal trial. In some cases, the prosecutor will decide not to charge the perpetrator. In other cases, the prosecutor will charge the perpetrator with rape. From there, a judge or jury will either find the perpetrator guilty or not guilty. If found guilty, the perpetrator may be sentenced to jail.

Civil Lawsuits

A lawsuit filed in a civil court is a separate trial. On one side, sexual assault lawyers will represent you in the lawsuit, and lawyers may represent the perpetrator on the other. Unlike in a criminal case, the goal of a civil case is for you to receive justice through compensation for the harm the perpetrator caused you. In a civil case, you will seek damages for pain and suffering, past and future medical bills, and lost income. Punitive damages may also be awarded, which are damages to punish the perpetrator for egregious conduct.

In a civil lawsuit, the sexual assault lawyers working on your behalf will seek to prove that the perpetrator was negligent. So the lawyers will have to prove that the perpetrator owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused your injuries. In a civil case, sexual assault lawyers will also seek to bring any third parties to justice that contributed to the harm the perpetrator caused you. These third parties include:

  • Employers
  • Landlords
  • Business owners
  • Religious organizations

For third parties, the claim we file may be based on negligent security, which means that the third party owed you a duty to maintain their property or business in a manner that kept you safe, and it breached that duty.

You can seek justice through the civil courts even if the perpetrator is not charged or convicted in a criminal court. And in civil courts, the burden of proving that the perpetrator was negligent is less stringent than proving that the perpetrator committed the crime of rape.

How a Financial Value Is Determined in a Civil Case

Through the civil courts, justice is awarded through compensation. So how does the court determine how much compensation to award a survivor of rape? The amount of the award will be determined by evidence related to the following:

  • The severity of physical injuries
  • The costs of current and future medical bills
  • The impact of the emotional trauma
  • The value of your pain and suffering
  • The value associated with the loss of enjoyment of your life

How Privette Law Office Can Help You

The legal team at Privette Law Office is here to seek justice for you. We know this is one of the most challenging times in your life. So we are committed to professional, compassionate, and personalized representation of your interests. If we take your case, we will be there with you through every step of the legal process, from conducting a thorough investigation to arguing for your rights in court.

Contact Our Experienced Southern Missouri Rape Attorneys Today

Contact the sexual assault lawyers at Privette Law Office today for your free, confidential case consultation.