Court is a place for people of all kinds can go to settle their disputes and dispense justice. The type of complaint a defendant brings to court will determine whether it is held as a criminal or civil case. Below is a general guide about the similarities and differences in bringing a civil or criminal case.
- Civil Cases
A dispute between individuals and between an individual and/or organizations is considered a civil case. The victim or claimant is called a plaintiff and the accused party is the defendant. A civil case can be filed in a federal or state court room. Often, a defendant is responsible for paying the plaintiff if they lose. Common civil cases include:
- Disputes about services rendered
- Disputes about lent money
- Personal injury cases
Do You Need a Lawyer In a Civil Case?
You can represent yourself in a civil case, it is not usually necessary to hire a private lawyer. However, in many civil actions, a party can only sue another for personal injury case more than once. In those circumstances, it is advisable for you to hire a professional to represent you because there is only one chance.
- Criminal Cases
A key difference between a civil and a criminal case is that the victim does not get to choose if the charges against the suspect are filed. People who are accused of criminal activity usually have charges brought against them. If the accused/ suspect is found guilty, they will serve jail time, face probation or heavy fines for breaking the law. Common criminal cases include:
- Drug possession
- Criminal traffic offenses (DUI, DWI)
Do You Need a Criminal Lawyer?
An attorney, like a criminal lawyer Baltimore MD trusts, can be indispensable in the process of a possible criminal conviction. Experienced attorneys could possibly lessen your sentence or ask for an alternative punishment if convicted. You have a much better shot at negotiating a favorable outcome if you have a professional as an advisor.
What is next?
Working through a court helps many different people settle every day civil disputes. However, it could be difficult if you aren’t familiar with the legal system . Contact an attorney to set an appointment to discuss your case. They will be able to help guide your case moving forward and gives you a much better chance at a favorable result.
This is why it is so important to hire an attorney to defend you. They will preserve your rights and navigate the confusing world of legal suits.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into criminal and civil cases.