Understanding the finer points of the law is crucial if you want to anticipate what will happen next in your court case. However, many people are confused by the basic terminology that refers to their case. What can you expect from a criminal offence versus a civil offence?
You need to know the difference if you hope to be successful in navigating the court system. Here’s the breakdown of what you can expect from each type of case.
What Is Criminal Law?
The first thing you need to know if you’re facing a criminal offence is exactly what it could mean for you. A case might fall under criminal law if you committed a crime against the state, nation, or another person. Not all criminal law cases are ranked the same, however. Some cases are marked as more severe than others, with cases ranging from misdemeanors to felonies.
The goal of a criminal law proceeding is typically to determine what the punishment should be for committing a specific crime. Consequences will vary depending on the severity of the crime.
You’ll need criminal defence lawyers in Winnipeg if you’re up against a criminal case. This can make all the difference when it comes to receiving a shorter sentence, smaller fines, or even loss of certain privileges such as a driver’s licence.
What Is Civil Law?
Civil law typically refers to cases that are outside the scope of what’s covered by a criminal case. In civil law cases, there are no crimes committed. Instead, these cases tend to focus on anything else, ranging from property disputes to monetary disputes to contract disputes. They will focus more on the rights of an individual instead of the rights of society.
There is a broad range of cases that can encompass civil law, but the three most common are contract law, property law, and family law.
The Major Differences
Now that you know what each type of offence can include, let’s look at what differences set them apart. There are times when the two types of cases overlap, but they’re kept separate for the most part.
The major difference lies in how the cases are prosecuted. Criminal cases are often handled by government officials while civil cases are handled between individuals and their attorneys. The plaintiff will bring the complaint instead of the local government officials.
There’s also one major difference in how you are found guilty (criminal law) or liable (civil law). Criminal cases must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, whereas civil law only requires a 51 percent chance that the plaintiff has a valid case.
Get the Defence You Need
If you require help with your case, you need expert attorneys to help you navigate the courts and plan a solid defence. Brodsky Amy & Gould can help you get the outcome you want with our criminal defence lawyers in the Winnipeg area. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can support you!