The laws in the US can be divided into two types, civil laws, and criminal laws. Both these laws are quite different from each other in their purpose, how they are implemented, etc.
In a broad sense, criminal laws apply to offenses against the state or society. The victim of the crime may be an individual. On the other hand, civil laws are applicable when an individual or an entity like a corporation causes an injury to an individual or a private party.
Some common examples of criminal offenses are drunken driving, murder, assault, battery, theft, etc. Civil laws are applicable in cases of negligence, breach of contract, defamation, and more.
Criminal charges are pressed against an individual by the State. The public prosecutor represents the State and has the responsibility to prove the accused guilty without reasonable doubt. A criminal lawyer represents the accused. The lawyer may be hired by the accused or the State may appoint a criminal lawyer to represent the accused if he is unable to hire one. A criminal case is tried in a court in front of a jury and is presided over by a Judge. The punishment in criminal cases is quite severe. In the worst-case scenario, the guilty could be given a life sentence or even a death sentence. However, many countries and states have changed the approach to punishing the guilty in a criminal case.
The traditional approach punished the guilty severely to set an example for others so that they do not commit such crimes. The purpose of such punishment was to give a message to the society at large to prevent such crimes for the safety and security of the community at large. However, the modern justice system is more attuned to reforming the criminal so that when he is released from prison, he becomes a better individual and contributes positively to society.
In the case of civil lawsuits, the case is filed by individuals against other individuals or corporations, etc. Civil law is an umbrella term for laws such as family law, personal injury law, contract law, business laws, bankruptcy laws, immigration laws, tax laws, and more. In all such cases, the punishment usually involves monetary fines or compensation. In civil lawsuits, the plaintiff is required to establish the liability of the defendant according to the “preponderance of the evidence.”
In a civil lawsuit, the defendant and the plaintiff are represented by lawyers specializing in the specific type of law. Many a time such cases may be settled out-of-court where both attorneys negotiate the terms of the case and reach a mutual agreement.
Whether it is a civil lawsuit or criminal case that you are contesting, it is recommended that you hire expert lawyers to protect your best interests. Lawyers who are experienced in the field and have good negotiation and communication skills are best for any legal matter.
Ward K Johnson Law Firm has the best lawyers who are well-experienced in representing clients in different types of legal matters.