In the U.S. there are two general types of legal cases: civil and criminal. While civil cases typically involve disputes between individuals or organizations regarding some type of legal responsibility between the two parties, criminal cases typically involve illegal offenses against the state. Criminal cases are brought forth by the state, while civil cases are brought forth by individuals or organizations. Read on to learn more about the differences between these two types of legal cases.
A civil case starts when a claim by an individual or organization submits a legal claim that another individual or organization breached a legal duty owed to them. The plaintiff submits this claim in order to ask the court to compel the defendant to either complete that legal duty or give compensation for any harm done as a result of the failure to complete the legal duty. Civil cases rest on the legal duties and rights established by the Constitution or federal or state laws. For example, one party could sue another party for failing to complete a contract. If the plaintiff’s claim is proven in civil court, the other party could be asked to compensate with monetary damages.
Criminal cases involve a formal accusation, or indictment, by the state or federal government against an individual. Unless the individual is charged with a federal crime, typically the state’s attorney’s office for the state in which the alleged crime took place prosecutes the person charged with the crime. Unlike in a civil case, in a criminal case, it is not the responsibility of the injured party to bring the case to court. Rather, the government has the responsibility to prosecute the person responsible for the crime. If an individual is convicted in a criminal case, a likely punishment is jail time.
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The law offices of Daniel C. Miller provide experienced legal assistance in both civil cases and criminal cases. Call us today in the Lee’s Summit and Kansas City area at (816) 875-0470 to learn more about how we can help with your case.