Kentucky Injury Lawyers

What’s the Difference Between Civil and Criminal Litigation?

Published on Oct 2, 2018 at 12:46 pm in Law and Information.

If you’re looking to hire a lawyer, you may be wondering what kind of lawyer you need. There isn’t only one type of litigation. Cases can be criminal or civil and it’s important to know the differences between these types so you know what to expect for your litigation process.

If you’ve been a victim of negligence, a Louisville personal injury lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help you with your case and will fight to get you a fair settlement. Contact us today for a free consultation of your case. You’ll speak with an experienced lawyer about the merits of your case and the best course of action for you.

What Is Criminal Litigation?

Federal, state, and local courts handle criminal cases, or when there may have been a person that broke the law. The people involved are usually a jury, prosecutor, attorneys, and someone is pressing charges against a party that may have committed a crime. This could include assault, theft, and murder. Those involved in a criminal case are appointed an attorney if they can’t afford one.

Determining guilt in a criminal case needs to be beyond a reasonable doubt because criminal punishments are typically more severe. Usually when someone is found guilty in a criminal case, they may face jail time.

What Is Civil Litigation?

Civil litigation usually involves someone who was wronged and they’re filing charges against the party that they claim wronged them. Civil cases can include product liability, car accident claims, medical malpractice, wrongful death claims, and more. Many civil cases have to do with negligence that causes injury. People who want to bring forward a civil case need to be able to pay for their attorney on their own. They will not be appointed one like those in criminal cases.

Civil causes usually have a judge to decide the outcome. Opposed to a criminal case, a civil case comes down to the preponderance of the evidence, or what the evidence suggests most likely happened. Civil cases aren’t held to the same burden of proof as criminal cases because the results usually aren’t as severe. Outcomes of a civil case is usually a monetary settlement.

With these key differences between criminal and civil litigation, you know what’s involved with both situations. You’ll be able to have realistic expectations of what’s going to happen in your case and how it will work.