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What is the difference between civil and criminal cases? Unravel their dissimilarity and legal implications with Conoscienti and Ledbetter. Call now for help.
Author: J. Blake Ledbetter, Partner, Conoscienti & Ledbetter
Mr. Ledbetter specializes in civil litigation in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, and possesses vast experience in wrongful death lawsuits. Mr. Ledbetter was recognized as a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2018 and 2019 in the area of Civil Litigation. Published on November 09, 2023.
The United States (U.S.) justice system addresses misconduct in two different ways: civil cases and criminal cases. Although both cases examine the violation of an individual’s right with an aim to establish fault, they are different in several ways.
Civil cases involve disputes between two parties on a specific issue. One party files a lawsuit against the other party, and the civil court decides the liability and the amount of damages to be awarded.
In civil disputes, the judge may order the guilty party to pay compensation to the injured party or fulfill an obligation.
Criminal cases, on the other hand, treat offenses as an act against society as a whole rather than an individual. If you commit a crime, the government will take legal action against you. A criminal conviction may include a prison sentence, fines, or probation.
Sometimes, an offense may result in civil and criminal action against the accused. If that happens, you may find yourself facing both civil and criminal charges.
Are you facing accusations for an offense and are unsure of the type of lawsuit that will be filed against you? A qualified attorney like those on our team at Conoscienti & Ledbetter can examine your case and explain the consequences that may arise if legal action is taken.
Speak with trusted criminal defense lawyer today, for free.
There are certain situations where a court case can be both civil and criminal. This occurs when you commit a crime and a wrong against another person through the same conduct. For example, while driving under the influence (DUI), you hit a pedestrian, and they die in the process.
In such a situation, you can be charged with a DUI offense in criminal court. The victim’s family can also file a wrongful death claim against you in civil court. Therefore, you may face both a civil and criminal case. This means you will suffer penalties in both cases if convicted or found liable.
A criminal conviction for DUI does not mean that you will be automatically held liable for wrongful death in civil court. The other party will still be required to prove that you are liable in a civil case.
Consult an Experienced Civil and Criminal Law Attorney
Knowing the differences between criminal and civil cases can help you choose the right strategy to apply in your situation. If you are seeking compensation for an injury or property damage, you can file a claim in civil court. If you are facing criminal prosecution, you can contact a criminal defense attorney to start preparing a defense strategy to fight your charges.
Remember, you may be exposed to both criminal and civil liability at the same time. If that happens, our attorneys at Conoscienti and Ledbetter can evaluate both cases and fight to dismiss some of your charges.
We can provide you with legal advice and help you gather the evidence that is needed to hold a negligent party accountable for your injuries. We can also gather evidence to help you avoid a criminal conviction.
If you are worried about a civil or criminal case and how it may affect you, get in touch with our attorneys today.