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Comparisons Between Criminal Law and Civil Law

Law and legal activities are categorized into two wide areas. Most people do not understand the differences, but the 2 are quite distinct in explanation. Criminal law and civil law are 2 separate and broad entities of law that administer separate sets of the law and punishment. Examples of the criminal law include assault, battery, murder and cases of burglary. On the other hand, civil law concerns cases such as malpractice or negligence. Therefore, a divorce attorney represents parties in civil law.

Difference between criminal and civil law

Criminal law is a body of law that handles legal punishment and crime of criminal offenses. Civil law, on the other hand, is a body of law that is concerned with settling disputes between organizations or individuals or between individuals and organizations, where the compensation is awarded to victims. With this law, the burden of proof is “beyond reasonable doubt”. The burden of proof falls on the government/state. As for civil law, it is “preponderance of evidence”, and is usually on the side of the plaintiff.

This law includes cases of theft, robbery, assault, murder, trafficking controlled substances, etc. Examples of civil law include personal injury, property disputes, child custody proceedings, divorce proceedings, landlord/tenant disputes, etc. A guilty defendant in the case of criminal law is punished by fines and/or incarceration. In exceptional cases, the death sentence is issued. The crimes under the criminal law are divided into 2 broad classes: Misdemeanors and felonies. On the other hand, the civil litigation involves compensation for damages or injuries and disposition of property.

In the case of this kind of law, the case is filed by the government, while in civil law, the case is filed by private party. Furthermore, in the case of the criminal law, only the defendant makes the appeal while in a civil case either of the parties can appeal.

Elder Law

This is concerned with legal matters, rights & needs and disputes of the elderly. The attorneys in this case have knowledge concerning the senior population, their unique needs and myths pertaining to aging and competence. The attorneys are informed about the mental and physical difficulties that accompany the process of aging. As a result of their knowledge, they play an important role in addressing the legal needs and requirements of their clients.

For instance, when planning their client’s estate, the attorney takes into consideration the individual or couple’s health, the possibility for nursing home care and concerns and wishes of the individual or couple.

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