There are many reasons why one might need to gear up with a lawyer. A person might need a lawyer to protect himself or herself from being incriminated under the law. This incrimination may be in the form of incarceration or being sent to jail for breaking a law. The respect of these regulations is criminal laws. One might be put behind bars for non-compliance with these laws. This is the jurisdiction of criminal lawyers. Other than that, one might also need a lawyer for maintaining a legal status or claiming a right under the law regarding the property, contract or otherwise. This is where civil lawyers step in. There are some major differences between the two that should be known to all. Some of them are:
1. Scope of the law
The scope of civil law extends to the disputes between two people or organizations who are not in agreement with one another or due to some violation of law between their relationship. The consequence of such disputes includes monetary compensation to the plaintiff or even some adequate and legal non-monetary benefits. On the other hand, attorneys like the Cobb County criminal attorneys are responsible for handling cases where statutory laws of a country or a government are violated. The consequence of such violation is punishable by the governing laws.
2. Filing and result of the cases
Since civil law deals with disputes between two parties, one of the parties has to file the case and bring charges against the other. The filing party is called the ‘plaintiff’ and the one it is filed on is called the ‘defendant’. Criminal cases are tried by the government and thus, they are brought about by them. It may be the local or federal government depending upon the scope of the crime. The attorneys in the law office of the government are called the ‘prosecution’ and the accused is called the ‘defendant’.
For the most part, the end game of a civil suit is compensation or restitution. This is done to make sure that the plaintiff has been adequately compensated to reinstate his or her position before any negligence or damage was caused by the defendant. However, the defendant is not sent to jail in the face of losing the case. However, the same cannot be said if criminal cases are taken by Cobb County defense attorneys or otherwise are lost. If the defendant is convicted, that person may face, jail time, fines or even the death penalty.
3. Categories of cases and the types of attorneys needed
Civil lawsuits are mostly related to cases dealing with disputes and rights. It may mean family disputes like divorce or annulment or it may refer to business lawsuits like a breach of contract. The work of criminal attorneys likes that of a Cobb County criminal defense attorney revolves around prosecutorial cases like murder, assault, rape, DUI, battery, drug or human trafficking and theft.
In civil cases, private attorneys are the ones involved in the case. Each of the two parties is responsible for paying for their own attorneys representing them. The same cannot be said for criminal cases as the government’s attorneys or ‘prosecution’ is faced against a private attorney like Cobb County criminal defense attorney or a public defender, as the case may be.
4. Reasonable standard and burden of proof
In both the kinds of law, there has to be proof of the defendant’s wrongdoing in the case or suit that is filed against him or her. In the situation of a preponderance of the evidence presented in a civil suit, more than half (50%) of the guilt has to be pointing towards the defendant. Whereas, the proof of the guilt of a defendant has to be proved in the court beyond a reasonable doubt. To get a guilty verdict, more than 95% of the evidence has to point towards the wrongdoing of the defendant, if not more.
In a civil case, the initial burden to present proof makes a case against the defendant lies on the plaintiff. They have to present adequate evidence to prove the charges made against the defendant in that case. After that, the burden is transferred to the defendant to prove that the charges brought about are refutable. For criminal cases, lawyers like the Cobb County criminal attorneys can relax a bit as the burden is on the prosecution to prove the charges against the defendant.
5. Protection by the law
There are certain laws that govern a jurisdiction that aims at protecting the rights of a citizen or the parties of a case. Yet, there are no protection laws by the Constitution in case of civil cases. On the other hand, there are a number of protections under the law for criminal cases under attorneys like Cobb County defense attorneys like the right to protect oneself from self-incrimination or the Fifth Amendment rights, right to effective assistance of counsel and speedy trial among many others.