Civil Vs. Criminal Law
One of the big distinctions in the law is between civil law and criminal law. Although there is sometimes a significant gray area between these two branches of legislation, the major difference between the two is that civil law deals with disputes between people, whereas criminal law deals with people who have violated laws that dictate certain behaviors, and are therefore viewed as an insult to the state.
In civil law, there are usually two parties to a lawsuit that are seeking a resolution to a sort of dispute. By way of example, a person that has been injured through someone else’s negligence, like in a car collision, is seeking some compensation for their injury and loss. It also could be a party who is suing another party over a contract dispute, like a person who is suing a builder for not properly completing promised work, or maybe the builder who believes he has completed the work properly but is not being paid. In these kinds of cases, both parties will present their cases, and the court will look for an equitable solution to the dispute, usually by ordering one party to pay damages to another party. Civil law is a very broad area of the law and can arise from many situations including employment relationships, landlord and tenant relationships, business transactions, and even family relationships and child custody.
In the eyes of the law, these partnerships represent as serious a commitment as marriage and so should not be entered into lightly. It is sensible to take into account the financial implications of entering into the partnership, and partners might consider obtaining the help of their family law attorney to draw up a pre-civil partnership agreement that’s roughly comparable to a normal pre-nuptial agreement. Although such agreements aren’t always upheld in court in case of the couple breaking up, the family law attorney can advise on making it as legitimate as possible.
Criminal law is extremely different. In criminal cases, one party is the defendant or individual who is accused of committing a crime, or violation of the statute. The other party is a prosecutor who represents the state or the people. In a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed the crime, and the defendant presents their defense. The court or a jury then determines if the man is guilty or not guilty and they will sentence the individual to some form of punishment for their crime that’s usually either a fine or imprisonment.
In addition to these major differences, there are lots of procedural differences between civil and criminal law. There are usually distinct rules of evidence, rules of procedure, and burdens of proof, and the instances are usually held in different courts. It is thus important to be represented by an attorney who is experienced in practicing in the various field of law in which you need representation.
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