Civil filings in the
Criminal Division include civil suspension of one's license
to drive, fish and wildlife violations and appeals of
traffic ticket and municipal ordinance violation decisions.
Most defendants represent themselves in
court proceedings. The state is the plaintiff in civil suspension and fish and
wildlife violations; in these cases, the plaintiff is represented by the state's
While litigants have the option of a jury trial, many choose
to have their cases decided by a judge. In civil trials, judgment is based on
the preponderance of evidence. For example, in a civil suspension case, if the
evidence presented by the state to prove that the defendant was intoxicated was
more convincing than the evidence given by the defendant that s/he was not drunk
then the judge will decide in favor of the state and the defendant will lose
her/his license to drive.