Can I use defendant’s conviction...?

Can I use defendant’s conviction of traffic charge from auto wreck as proof of same offense and liability in ensuing civil action.  I want to argue issue of his liability has already been determined under a higher burden of proof than in my civil action?

Answer:  The traffic conviction (as opposed to a plea of guilty, admissible as an admission) cannot be shown.  See: O’Neal v. Joy Ind. School Dist., 1991 OK 118, 820 P.2d 1334, 1336: “Absent some exception to the settled rule, evidence of a prior conviction for a minor offense may not be admitted into evidence in a subsequent civil action arising from the same facts and circumstances in the face of a timely objection.”  The rationale is that one doesn’t have the same motivation to litigate vigorously a traffic ticket as you do a civil action or a serious crime.  It would be unfair to bind someone in a multi-thousand dollar civil case from a failure to vigorously defend a $200 fine in a traffic case.