There are two general courts, and thus two different areas of practicing attorneys: Civil & Criminal
- Civil law, or municipal law, relates to the relationships of contract and exchange between private parties (individuals, businesses or individuals and businesses), such as marriage, divorce, buying and selling property, contracts and warranties, etc. Civil law encompasses all law that is not criminal law and is divided into two branches: Contract Law and Tort Law, aka Personal Injury cases. Civil law cases are litigated in civil courts as law suits and the end result is normally financial compensation.
- In Criminal law, the suit is initiated by the state or federal government through a prosecutor rather than being initiated by the victim, as it is in civil law.
- One of the major differences between civil law and criminal law is that civil law suits are initiated by the victim rather than the Federal or state government through a prosecutor.
- Civil law and criminal law proceedings are also very different, and one of the main differences lies in the "burden of proof."
- In a criminal case, the defendant must be proven guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt."
- A civil case only has to be proven on the "balance of probabilities" (i.e., it is "likely" that the defendant is guilty).
A good example of this is the O.J. Simpson trial. While it was not proven "beyond a reasonable doubt" that he murdered his wife; it was proven in the subsequent civil trial that, based on the "balance of probabilities," he had been responsible for her death, which subsequently led to the financial award to the victim’s family.
I am a Plaintiff’s (Civil) Trial Attorney that can help you if you have been wronged, harmed, or injured by someone or something and you seek monetary compensation.