The Difference Between Civil Law And Criminal Law

There are so many legal cases that thecourts handle every single day, and they can be complicated to understand. Some lawsuits can be filed based on the civil law, while others are based in the criminal law. So, what are the differences between the two?

Three Key Differences of Criminal Law and Civil Law

Today, we will dive deeper into these laws and know their differences. We will look how they are distinct from each other and why it is important to know what kind of legal case we are facing in the court of law.

Legal Definition

Criminal law is a legal dispute that deals with criminal offenses of an individual or an organization. It is the body of law that gives out legal punishment to the crimes such as theft, assault, robbery, trafficking in controlled substances, murder, etc.

On the other hand, civil law is a type of legal dispute that deals between individuals or organization that has a disagreement with either property, damages, or even relational disputes. If the plaintiff wins the case, the defendant must compensate (financially) the victim for all the damages or harm done.

Burden of Proof

For criminal law, the burden of proof or the duty to find the admissible evidence is on the state or the government. The prosecutor must find facts that will make the defendant guilty without reasonable doubt and face the legal punishment that will be decided by the court of law.

As for the civil law, the burden of proof lies solely to the plaintiff and his or her legal representative. They must find evidence that can support their claim to the defendant.

Legal Penalties

As stated on the legal definitions of the two laws, the legal penalty for each law is also distinct from each other. The punishments for criminal laws are to be determined by the court of law if they found the defendant guilty beyond reasonable doubt. The defendant may face fines and imprisonment depending on the gravity of the case.

On the other hand, victims of civil law cases will be compensated if they won their case against the defendant. They can get paid of the amount they spent on hospital bills, school fees (for custody cases), and even the damages (physical or mental) dealt to the plaintiff. Of course, it will still all depend on the court of law and the gravity of the case.