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In the broadest sense, there are two types of cases – a criminal case or a civil case. Any time a person faces a criminal charge, they need a criminal lawyer. However, different types of civil cases require a different type of civil lawyer.
|– offenses against the State law|
– Guilty/Not Guilty
|– Dispute or Disagreement between the individuals|
– Liable/Not Liable
In a criminal case, it is “The People” that bring the criminal charges against the defendant. The victim of the crime does not bring the criminal case. The law looks at the crime as an act that is against the state and based on the evidence, a jury decides if the person is guilty or not. Common crimes include murder, sexual assault, rape, robbery, etc. Some other crimes include smuggling, drug possession, printing and circulating fake money, etc. For a person to be found guilty of any of these crimes, the jury must be convinced “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant committed the crime. This is a very high burden.
In this case, the victim comes to court looking for compensation for any sort of damage suffered by them due to some other person. Therefore, it is the victim who sues the wrongdoer. Common types of civil cases include personal injury, employment violations, and civil rights violations. However, bankruptcy law, trust and wills, trademark infringement, and divorce cases are all “civil” cases. Therefore, a victim of a car accident would not want a divorce lawyer to represent them. Instead, they need a civil lawyer that handles car accident cases. Similarly, a lawyer that handles civil rights cases would not be the appropriate lawyer to handle a divorce case.
Below are some major difference points between the two:
INITIATION OF CASE
|– Here govt. takes the case against the one who committed a crime|
– The govt. punishes the one who is responsible for the crime to make sure that people respect the law and order.
|– Here the person who suffered the loss takes the case against the one who caused it|
– The victim is given compensation by the other party to make up for their losses.