The justice system in the US is divided into two different bodies –
- Civil laws
- Criminal laws.
Both the laws deal with different severity of outlaw activity. When we are talking about minor mistakes or activity that doesn’t involve harming others or not at least any intention, it falls under civil law.
On the other hand, Criminal cases are more about harming others. The activity might involve murder, robbery, embezzlement, assault, and any other crime that risks a person’s life in any way.
While it is hard to differentiate the severity of the case, there can be cases that fall under both laws at the same time.
In this article, we will discuss the difference between the two laws and still see if a case is both civil and criminal.
Difference Between Civil And Criminal Cases
The biggest difference between a civil case and a criminal case is how they are resolved. As we have already said that a civil lawsuit will focus on compensating the victim, usually in the form of money.
However, in criminal cases, criminal charges are punishable. The person can be sent to jail for repentance and a monetary fine.
A civil case will mostly include private disputes among organizations or individuals. At the same time, a criminal case will involve an organization or an individual that has injured the victim intentionally.
In order to resolve the civil case, the court might allow the plaintiff the advantages and ask the defendant to pay for the compensation.
However, a criminal case is quite complicated. This case comes about when the police are notified about the crime that has been committed. The accused will be arrested and given the right to call for a lawyer.
What will follow after this is typically the investigation you know. Investigation to find evidence and to know what has actually happened. After going through the evidence, the judge decides and states their ruling.
Can A Court Case Be Both Criminal & Civil?
And the answer is YES.
This can happen when a person commits a criminal offense against an organization of a person with the same conduct. For instance, if a person is drinking and driving and hits a pedestrian. The police will catch the driver and file a DUI charge in a criminal court, which falls under Civil laws.
At the same time, the family of the victims might file a wrongful death case in civil court. If that happens, the driver will face both civil and criminal charges.
Can A Civil Case Turn Criminal?
Yes, there is always a potential where the civil case can turn into a criminal case. If, during the civil case, the court finds evidence that hints at a crime, your civil case might hold the potential to turn into a criminal case.
However, you need to note that when a civil case turns into a criminal case, a new criminal case is opened in the criminal court. This is because both civil and criminal cases’ proceedings are different.
To know more about civil cases turning to criminal cases and how you can avoid finding yourself in such a situation, reach out to Criminal Attorney Marietta GA.
Even if it is civil care, where you are required to pay a fine, it is important that you take it seriously. If not, one mistake can put you under Criminal charges.
Can You Be Imprisoned For A Civil offense?
The civil offense is likely to receive civil penalties or a fine. This will be imposed by the government agency as a way to compensate for your wrongdoing.
A civil case is not the same as a criminal offense. This is because the severity is far less compared to criminal lawsuits. Instead of punishing the person for their mistakes and wrongdoing, civil laws ask for compensation.
Now coming to your question. A civil case doesn’t result in any jail time. The case is solved by asking for monetary fines. But during the process, you can be ordered jail time if you disrupt the order process.
Furthermore, there are times when civil cases can bring out criminal charges. In that case, you might have to serve jail time.