The Major Differences between Criminal and Civil Law

Allegory of JusticeIn the United States and some countries abroad, there are two main types of basic law, criminal and civil. There are wrongdoings committed each minute in places all around the world. These wrongdoings are categorized by criminal and civil. Everyone knows that a criminal is someone who commits a crime. Crimes committed can lead to civil cases if someone was injured because of the crime. However, the courts will make the final decision on what punishments fit the situation.

Criminal Law

This type of law deals specifically with an accused doing acts against society. Society can include people, buildings, or transportation. If a person busts out the windows of a vehicle, this is considered criminal. Any type of vandalism is considered to be criminal. Doing harm intentionally to another individual is considered criminal. However, if you hurt another person accidently it is considered to be civil. Criminal cases can result in the accused being found guilty and sentenced to months or years of prison time equal to the crime committed.

Cases heard in Criminal Court:

  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Harassment
  • Attacks
  • Vandalism
  • Trespassing

Civil Law

Personal injury cases are normally heard through civil court. In the event that the person who was responsible for the injury is brought to court, they will be required to repay the debt that the personal injury caused the victim. In a criminal case, repayment is normally done in jail time and restitution. When a person has neglected his or her duty to keep an area well maintained and another person is harmed, that responsible party can be sued. This court case will be heard in civil court. There are a ton of other cases that are heard throughout civil courts. Civil law covers a wide variety of topics from child custody and adoptions to divorces. All family matters are normally heard through civil court.

Other Cases Heard in Civil Court:

  • Small Claims
  • Discrimination
  • Employment law
  • Custody
  • Divorce and Annulments
  • Contract Disputes

Lawyers who specialize in civil law normally will not take on a criminal lawsuit and vice versa. Therefore, if you are searching for legal representation is sure it is within the right circuit. If you or a loved one has a claim that falls into the civil law category, contacting a lawyer who specializes in civil law is ideal. They will be able to assist you in discovering your claim as well as helping you to file the claim in the proper courts. A professional can assist you with more information regarding your situation.

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