For those without a formal legal background, it can be easy to think of civil and criminal cases as being similar. However, these types of cases are incredibly different, from the parties bringing the cases to the types of penalties that can be assigned, and it is important for anyone considering taking legal action to understand some of the most basic differences between these types of cases.
At Tragos, Sartes & Tragos, PLLC, our Clearwater personal injury lawyers are dedicated to helping you better understand the legal options that are available to you if you have suffered because of another party’s wrongdoing. To learn more about the differences between civil and criminal cases, or for advice about taking civil action after an accident, contact us today at 727-441-9030.
Civil and Criminal Case Differences
Some of the most important things to know about criminal lawsuits include the following:
- The charges are brought against an individual by the government , and a prosecutor is the government’s representative in these cases. The city, state, or even the federal government can bring a criminal case against an offender.
- The accused party has to be proven guilty “beyond all reasonable doubt” to be convicted.
- Every criminal case goes before a judge. He or she will then decide if it gets a court date where it will go before a jury.
- Punishments for criminal convictions include large fines, imprisonment, and possibly even the death penalty in some states and cases.
On the other hand, civil cases are characterized by the following:
- An individual files a lawsuit against another individual or business.
- The burden of proof is much lower than in criminal cases.
- The majority of civil cases never go before a judge or the court. Instead they are settled between the two parties and their legal representation.
- Punishments come in the form of the defendant paying money to the plaintiff for awarded compensatory and punitive damages.
For more information about your situation and whether you should seek civil action, contact the attorneys of Tragos, Sartes & Tragos, PLLC, at 727-441-9030 and schedule an initial consultation.