Understanding criminal law vs. civil law … and when you need to hire a lawyer
The law is complex. So, if you are charged with a crime or you find yourself dealing with a legal dispute, you should get advice from an experienced lawyer. He or she can help you to navigate the legal process and reach the best outcome.
What is criminal law?
Criminal law covers numerous laws that punish or reform people who commit criminal acts against individuals, the state, or the nation.
In the U.S., some crimes are considered more serious in some states than others, so criminal law can vary depending on the area of jurisdiction.
Criminal law covers both misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are less serious crimes, such as trespassing, parking tickets, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, and petty drug crimes. Felonies include serious crimes like theft, assault, and kidnapping.
What is civil law?
Civil law is an umbrella term for all non-criminal law. Basically, it deals with individual rights and interests that are violated by a person or organization.
Common examples of civil law cases include contract disputes, property disputes, and family issues related to things like divorce and child custody.
The Main Differences Between Criminal and Civil Law
The main difference between criminal and civil law is to do with how the cases are handled in the court system. Criminal cases are usually prosecuted by state officials whereas civil cases typically take place between the individuals or organizations involved in the dispute.
In criminal court, offenders can be found guilty. In civil court, at-fault people are found liable.
Typically, people who are found guilty in criminal court will face serious consequences, such as imprisonment. Those found liable in civil court usually have to pay fines and other penalties for their illegal actions.
Choosing a Specialist Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are charged with a criminal offense, you need to hire a lawyer. Furthermore, you should look for an attorney with the specialist criminal defense knowledge required for your specific crime.
The lawyers at Jonathan Marshall law firm have a wealth of experience in a variety of cases, including theft, fraud, assault, drug charges, and juvenile crime.
Things like what you tell the police can significantly impact the consequences of your criminal charge, so you need knowledgeable legal assistance as soon as possible after you are arrested.
With an experienced lawyer on board, he or she will be able to help you understand your options, provide you with insights as to your best course of action, and represent you in court.
The sooner you consult with an attorney, the higher your chances are of preventing errors that could jeopardize your case.
Choosing an Experienced Civil Law Attorney
Likewise, if you face a civil law case, you need an experienced lawyer on board to help you understand your rights and options.
A civil law attorney can help you to reach a settlement out of court or represent you in court should the case go that far.
Civil law is complicated, so if you are accused of a civil law offense, you need a legal professional with specialist knowledge about your type of case to help you navigate the complexities.
Without the help of a civil litigation attorney, you are more likely to lose your case. The case can also end up being a lot costlier when you do not get the help of a lawyer.
If you are accused of a crime, whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor, you should hire a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Likewise, if you are facing a legal dispute, you should get help from a lawyer with specialist knowledge in civil law.
With an experienced and knowledgeable professional on board, you stand a much better chance of achieving the best results for your specific circumstances.