Over at The High Road, there's an identical OP. A member there who goes by Cosmoline made an excellent point in discussing Civil Liability, Civil Immunity and the Use of Force. With Cosmoline's permission, I am shamelessly copying and pasting it here:
Originally Posted by Cosmoline
. . . .Also remember that while a criminal acquittal is typically not going to have collateral impact on a civil litigation, a criminal *conviction* absolutely can and likely will. If it comes to a plea deal, be sure you understand civil implications of such a plea. For example even pleading "no contest" to a lesser charge can have enormous impacts on subsequent civil proceedings. I've argued the issue with the Alaska Supreme Court, but they didn't have much sympathy for the defendant. Be sure to cover the matter with counsel, and to muster all your forces both criminal and civil as part of your overall defense strategy. It is too often the case that criminal defendants focus solely on the criminal defense issues assuming that the civil matters can just wait to be dealt with later on. But a decision in criminal court can have serious impact later on. It can walk you out of coverage and walk you into automatic liability. Rest assured, the plaintiff's counsel is not waiting until the criminal case is over before starting his work! If there are assets involved, or high enough profile, those sharks get swimming really early. So you need to get your Quint up and sober.