What is the Difference between Civil and Criminal Law?

In any group, organization, community or country, laws are always implemented in order to provide peace and order to all its members or citizens. Without these laws, justice will surely be very difficult to claim. Nowadays, court cases can be classified under two law matters namely the civil and the criminal law. Lawyers usually give the victims the option of having their case heard as a matter of criminal or a civil law. Although both courts can hold various types of cases, there are still a number of differences between the two. So what is the difference between civil and criminal law?

Involved Parties

One of the main differences between the two types of law is none other than the parties involved when the cases are heard. Most involved parties under the civil law cases are those that are private individuals. This basically means that the case revolves around two people or between a person and a group/organization or company. Criminal law on the other hand is usually linked to government-related cases wherein the government is one of the parties. Because of this, cases tried under this law are usually handled by the district attorney or/and a public defender instead of having personal lawyers in doing the job.

The Outcome and Decisions

Aside from the parties involved, another factor that differ civil and criminal law from each other is the decisions that need to be obtained by the court that is hearing the case. In the side of civil law, the subject that needs to be decided upon is whether or not the accused has indeed caused any assault or harm to the prosecutor based on the evidences and data that supports the claim or the stand of the complainant. Criminal law court hearings; however, must decide as to whether or not the defendant has violated or desecrated the statute that has been initiated by the local government as a way of protecting the society as a whole. This shows that the evidence being presented in court is to assist in determining whether the accused is truly guilty of the said charges without any reasonable doubt.

Types of Penalties Given

Another major difference between the two types of laws is determined through the classification of penalties given. The penalties imposed to those that have been given the verdict of guilty also vary between the two laws. As for civil law case, most penalties come in the form of compensation or payment of money that is awarded to the victim/s. Criminal law cases, on the other hand, can also give compensations to the victims along with the punishment of imprisonment, wherein the duration is also to be decided by the court.

In summary or conclusion, both types of laws cover various aspects and issues in the society in order to guarantee as much as possible the preservation of human rights of every citizen. Civil and criminal law varies in three major areas namely the parties involved, the decision to made and as well as the types of penalties handed. Civil law deals with cases that involve two private parties while criminal law deals with cases that are fought between the government and the accused or the defendant. Criminal law also tries to prove whether or not the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt while carrying a penalty of compensation as well as imprisonment as a punishment. Civil law authorizes the accuser to lay out some facts and evidences against the accused in order to prove that violations and/or harm was done. This is usually penalized with monetary compensation. Some of the most common types of civil law cases include problems in contracts, business deals and other non criminal cases like divorce. Criminal cases involves murder or capital crime, misdemeanors, felonies and as well as juvenile crime.

These are just some of the major and most common differences between the civil law and the criminal law. Both laws may represent different cases, but these are still similar in connection to their purpose of maintaining peace, order and justice to all the citizens encompassed by the law. These makes both laws important to the society.

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