Sunday, November 25, 2007

Am I Civilly or Criminally Liable?

Civil case
A non-criminal lawsuit involving breach of contract ( like Credit Card Agreements), property issues, divorce and other varieties of civil lawsuits. It is the individual who feels wronged or injured (the plaintiff) who decides whether to file a civil suit. The plaintiff cannot seek to have a defendant jailed unless the defendant has violated a court order.

Criminal case
A lawsuit brought by a prosecutor employed by the government that charges a person with the commission of a crime. The defendant is charged with a crime against society such as murder, burglary, robbery, or theft.

Criminal Law
complainant : the state/ government.
punishment : fine and/or imprisonment.
proof : beyond a reasonable doubt
appeal : defendant
decision : guilty or not guilty

Civil Law
complainant : anybody
punishment : The loser in a civil case cannot be imprisoned, even if he or she
cannot pay the damages.
proof : preponderance of the evidence
appeal : either party
decision : plaintiff and the defendant may be found partially right and
and partially at fault.

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