The Differences Between A Criminal Case And A Civil Case
The legal system consists of two very different types of cases, civil and criminal. Crimes are offenses against the state/government, and are prosecuted by the state. Civil cases are disputes between individuals regarding legal duties and responsibilities they owe one another.
Key differences between a criminal case and a civil case:
1. Crimes are offenses against society as a whole. That means that even though one person might murder another person, murder is an offense to everyone in our society. Crimes against the state are prosecuted by the state, and the prosecutor (not the victim) files the charges. On the contrary, in civil case, the wronged party would file the case.
2. Criminal offenses and civil offenses are different in terms of punishment. Criminal cases have jail time as a potential punishment, and civil cases commonly result in money damages.
3. A defendant in a criminal case is entitled to an attorney, and if he or she can't afford one, the state must provide an attorney for free. A defendant in a civil case must pay for his own attorney.
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