Civil and Criminal Case Essay

833 WordsNov 27, 20144 Pages
The Differences between a Civil and Criminal Case Have you ever noticed that there are more criminal cases being mentioned on the news as opposed to civil ones? Or know that there is even a difference between the two? It is a common misconception that civil and criminal cases are one of the same. In our legal system they are two completely different cases, civil and criminal. A civil case is when the plaintiff decides to sue another person, organization, or a business, the individual being sued is also called the defendant. In a criminal case, the crime is based on offenses against the state, with the prosecutor charging the suspect for the crime and not the actual victim charging the suspect. (The Differences between a Criminal Case and a Civil Case, n.d) Many fundamental distinctions between a civil and criminal case separate them from one another in our court system, which include but are not limited to; the standard of proof required in a criminal case compared to that of a civil case, the terms and forms of punishment, and also whether or not you are entitled to an attorney. “In general, because criminal cases have greater consequences - the possibility of jail and even death - criminal cases have many more protections in place and are harder to prove.” (The Differences between a Criminal Case and a Civil Case, n.d) A duty placed upon a civil or criminal defendant to prove or disprove a disputed fact is known as standard of proof. (Standard of proof. n.d.) In a criminal case the state must prove that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” and has fulfilled each part of the statutory definition of the crime. An example of a criminal case would be first degree murder, because it contains the three basic elements of a crime: willfulness, deliberation and premeditation. However the standard of proof in a civil case is proven by lower standards of

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