Law Forum : Difference Between Civil & Criminal Law

Discussion in 'Law Forum - Prisons - Gun Ownership' started by Destee, May 25, 2009.

  1. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    One of the most fundamental distinctions between civil and criminal law is in the notion of punishment.

    criminal law

    In criminal law, a guilty defendant is punished by either (1) incarceration in a jail or prison, (2) fine paid to the government, or, in exceptional cases, (3) execution of the defendant: the death penalty. Crimes are divided into two broad classes: felonies have a maximum possible sentence of more than one year incarceration, misdemeanors have a maximum possible sentence of less than one year incarceration.

    civil law

    In contrast, a defendant in civil litigation is never incarcerated and never executed. In general, a losing defendant in civil litigation only reimburses the plaintiff for losses caused by the defendant's behavior.

    So-called punitive damages are never awarded in a civil case under contract law. In a civil case under tort law, there is a possibility of punitive damages, if the defendant's conduct is egregious and had either (1) a malicious intent (i.e., desire to cause harm), (2) gross negligence (i.e., conscious indifference), or (3) a willful disregard for the rights of others. The use of punitive damages makes a public example of the defendant and supposedly deters future wrongful conduct by others. Punitive damages are particularly important in torts involving dignitary harms (e.g., invasion of privacy) and civil rights, where the actual monetary injury to plaintiff(s) may be small.

    One can purchase insurance that will pay damages and attorney's fees for tort claims. Such insurance coverage is a standard part of homeowner's insurance policies, automobile insurance, and insurance for businesses. In contrast, it is not possible for a defendant to purchase insurance to pay for his/her criminal acts.

    While a court can order a defendant to pay damages, the plaintiff may receive nothing if the defendant has no assets and no insurance, or if the defendant is skillful in concealing assets. In this way, large awards for plaintiffs in tort cases are often an illusion.

    effect of punishment

    The notion that the threat of punishment will deter criminal conduct is based on the principle that human beings are rational. In practice, criminals are either impulsive (i.e., not rational) or believe that they will not be caught by the police. Therefore, the threat of punishment does not deter criminal conduct, as one is reminded every day by reading reports of journalists.

    Legal theory considers the possibility of loss of freedom (i.e., incarceration) as much more serious than merely paying damages to an injured plaintiff. As a result of this high value placed on personal freedom, legal dogma is that criminal litigation is more serious than civil litigation, therefore criminal defendants have more rights and protections than civil defendants, as explained later in this essay. The economic reality is that most people would prefer to spend, for example, one year in prison, than pay a million dollars from their personal assets.

    Read More at ... http://www.rbs2.com/cc.htm




    I did not know a lot of that stuff !!! :eeek:

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  2. phynxofkemet

    phynxofkemet Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Civil Litigation

    One good reason to incorporate a small business is the legal separation of assets from personal to coporate entity. So, if your business is sued, your personal property is not at stake and vice versa. Also, some investment vehicles like segregated funds which are mutual funds wrapped in a layer of insurance are also exempt from having to be liquidated under private litigation.

    Of course, as we witnessed in the O.J trial, civil damages can still be sought and won even if a criminal trial fails to indict.

    With criminal charges, because you are in reality facing the Crown, or the State, your advesary has at it's disposal every agency that is also under Crown or State control. You as the individual have at your disposal whatever you can afford, expert witnesses, private investigators, forensic evidence analysis all costs money, and lots of it. The State accesses these all the time to procur a conviction, most people have no idea how to get these services to build a case.



     
  3. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Ohhhh Sister ... this is soooo good !!!

    I think, if a person is gonna be engaging in some activity that might end them up in a court of law, facing the state, crown, etc., that has all resources at their disposal, and are efficient, effective, and proven in using them ... and you got the boots you're standing in ... the odds are way against you!

    If they are gonna put themselves in this position, then they should be lining up some money, expert witnesses, and all kinds of forensic scientists and stuff ... or they are in trouble.

    Whew!

    Be Prepared!

    Thank You Sister !!!

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  4. janrenalds

    janrenalds New Member MEMBER

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    -Civil law pertains to non criminal charges such as a person owes someone a debt and hasn't paid, a landlord taking a tenant to court to get any rent due, etc. Criminal law deals with criminal activities such as D.W.I.'s, robberies, assaults, etc.wih criminal laws you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt and with civil you have to prove preponderance of evidence
    -criminal laws are laws that seek to prevent people frok deliberately or recklessly harming each other or each other's property civil laws seek to prevent disputes between individuals, organizations, or governments, in which no criminal laws have been broken
     
  5. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    janrenalds ... Thanks for joining us and sharing! ... :wave: ... i appreciate the information! :toast:

    Please make yourself right at home, because you are!

    Much Love and Peace.

    :heart:

    Destee
     
  6. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    Good info here , there was a lot i didn't know and much to learn here....
     
  7. Shikamaru

    Shikamaru Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The division of civil and criminal law has to do with procedure and outcomes.

    There is civil procedure and criminal procedure.
     
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