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What is the Difference Between Civil and Criminal Cases

Photo credit: @discoverJKUAT

Cases are generally split into two categories; Civil and Criminal cases. So, in this article, we are going to dive deeper into details and understand what we need to know.

A civil case is when one person (the plaintiff) files a case against another person (the defendant). Having that in mind, it is worth noting that the plaintiff can be an individual, a business organization, or a government agency. The same applies to defendants.

On the other hand, a criminal case is where someone commits a crime such as murder and the government prosecutes them to prove them guilty.

Events during a civil case.

First, keep in mind that civil cases are dealt with in civil courts. Consequently, in these courts, everything begins when a plaintiff (also called a complainant) files a case against another person (the defendant) simply because of a conflict between them.

Winning a civil case depends on the amount of evidence presented and, most importantly, how believable that evidence is.

Civil cases include:


-problems concerning custody of children,

-contract issues,

-money and debt issues.

Note that losing a civil case does not mean one has to go to jail. No. It does not happen like that. What happens is that a judge can request—on behalf of the plaintiff— the defendant compensate for the damages caused to the plaintiff.

Events during a criminal case.

First, criminal cases are taken to criminal courts. In these courts, either the prosecutor or a grand jury initiates the proceedings.

While civil cases are considered simple to deal with, criminal cases are often said to be difficult to deal with. This is because a prosecutor has to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. All this stems from the fact that a person's freedom is at stake.

Cases considered criminal include cases such as robbery, murder, rape, or assault.

Punishment for guilty defendants includes fines, community service, and serving a jail term.

Thank you for your time. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.

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